One in seven vulnerable people aged 65-plus struggle with everyday tasks
One in seven vulnerable people aged 65-plus struggle with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, using the lavatory, washing, dressing and even eating. NHS Digital data last month showed that local authorities received 1.9 million new requests for adult social care support in 2018/19 – an increase of 3.8 per cent. But the number of people being granted long-term care in England has fallen every year since 2015/16 to 841,850 in 2018/19. Without immediate action charity Age UK warns the “shameful” toll will rise to 2.1 million by 2030.
Director Caroline Abrahams said: “For the last few years, these figures have been getting worse as governments dither over how to overhaul a system of care that everyone agrees is no longer fit for purpose.
“Some older people are fortunate and receive good care from committed staff, which makes a huge difference to their lives.
“But far too many are going without the support they need to live decently and with dignity.
“If you are facing a decline in your ability to do everyday things, it’s hard enough if you have friends and family to help, but if you are on your own, as many are, then the outlook is not only depressing but frightening.”
The charity has launched its own manifesto ahead of the General Election, calling for care free at the point of use. It says at least £8billion needs to be invested over the next two years, echoing recommendations from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
Miss Abrahams said: “Not having to worry about struggling alone, or being forced to sell your home to fund sky-high bills if at some point in your life you begin to need care, is a huge prize that would benefit us all.”
Ian Hudspeth, of the Local Government Association, said: “The next government needs to bring forward substantive proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible.”