Older people living with unmet care needs rising

New analysis by Age UK has highlighted how more older people than ever are missing out on the vital care and support they need, with a 19 per cent increase seen in the last two years.

According to the charity, more than 300,000 of the 1.4 million older people affected need help with three or more essential everyday tasks, such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet or getting dressed. However, over half of these people get no help at all from paid carers, family members or friends.

Furthermore, the analysis also found that delayed discharges from hospital as a result of an inability to find social care is now costing the NHS more than £500 a minute.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said that these stats emphasise ‘the folly and sheer wastefulness’ of the government’s social care policy, stressing that it’s ‘high time’ the government saw health and care as one whole system.

Abrahams said: “Our new analysis echoes what we hear all round the country: it is getting ever harder to access care if you need it and increasing numbers of frail, ill older people are being left to manage alone. If an older person needs social care but can’t get it this is a surefire recipe for them to become weaker and less well. They are at far greater risk of not eating enough and of falling and hurting themselves because of trying to do more than they really should. And it goes without saying that their lives are likely to be diminished and made more miserable. “Is this what we want for our parents and grandparents, husbands and wives, older neighbours and friends in 2018?”

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