Four in five older people will struggle to find social care

New research argues that only one in five local areas in the UK report having enough older people’s care to meet growing demand, leaving over 4.3 million over-75s in areas without enough care.

Coram Family and Childcare’s Older People’s Care Survey revealed that older people who need care at home will struggle to find it, with only 51 per cent of local authorities reporting enough in their area, whilst those with more severe needs, such as dementia, face even tougher odds of finding suitable care, with just 42 per cent of areas having enough specialist nursing care to meet local demand.

Additionally, older people paying for their own care face prices which are 13 per cent higher than those paid by local authorities for residential care. And, even if they only pay the same price as local authorities, at nearly £17 an hour, it will take just one year and one month for self-funders using 21 hours of support a week to spend £20,000 of savings on average UK home care fees. Worryingly, o16 per cent of local authorities knew about the prices that self-funders pay.

Megan Jarvie, head of Coram Family and Childcare, said: “High quality care for older people can help to improve their wellbeing and stay well for longer. But the gaps in care that we have found are likely to cause stress and hardship for older people and their families. Fixing our care system is an opportunity to support older people and their families to lead happier, healthier lives and to reduce the strain on the NHS.”

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils are doing everything in their power to provide high quality adult and social care support to adults of all ages in very difficult circumstances. Work to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care has been kicked into the long grass by successive governments for the past two decades and has brought these vital services to breaking point.”

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