Number of elderly people deprived of vital support hits record high, finds report

jeudi juillet 12 2018

More than 1.4 million people over the age of 65 are struggling without the help they depend on to carry out basic tasks such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet and washing themselves, the findings, from charity Age UK have revealed.

The number of older people who are not getting the care and support they need has hit a record high, with one in seven now living with some level of unmet need, according to a new report.

More than 1.4 million people over the age of 65 are struggling without the help they depend on to carry out basic tasks such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet and washing themselves, the findings, from charity Age UK have revealed.

This marks a 19 per cent increase in unmet need since 2015.

Delayed discharges from hospital due to social care not being in place costs the NHS £289.1m a year – the equivalent to £550 per minute, the report also found.

It is “sheer folly and wastefulness” that the government was not investing the same funds in social care as it was in health, said Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams.

“The extra funding announced recently for the NHS is warmly welcome, but it will do a lot less to help our GPs and our hospitals than it should do for as long as the government allows social care to continue to decline,” she said.

“We all depend on the NHS so we all lose out if it has less money to spend due to the lack of social care, but there is no doubt that it’s our older population who are paying the highest price of all – with their health, their happiness and sometimes even their lives.”

The research shows that 307,581 elderly people require help with three or more essential activities, of whom 164,217 receive no help whatsoever from paid carers, family members or friends.

Ms Abrahams said the Social Care Green Paper, set to be published in the autumn, would not “in and of itself” deliver any new funding for social care for several years.

It was obvious that the system was in need of a major injection of cash, she added.

“Many older people with health problems need some care and support and vice versa. It’s high time the government saw health and care as one whole system and provided the resources needed by both,” she said.

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