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Care needs of a million elderly not being met

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The charity Age UK has warned there are as many as a million people in the UK with elderly care needs that are not being met. A further 300,000 are struggling with feelings of loneliness.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “We think it is likely that many of these older people are living on their own and in quite isolating circumstances, unable to call on family, friends or neighbours for help if they need it.”

The charity is calling on the Government to restore the “crumbling” social care system and release funding for elderly care: "Our social care system is in decline and failing to keep pace with our growing older population, leading to older people with care needs going without formal help,” said Abrahams.

The Department of Health said it had given local authorities access to up to £3.5 billion for social care, including care for the elderly, but denied that “this formal, paid-for system” was “the only way to address loneliness in older people.”

By contrast, Abrahams said: “For an older person who can't get out and about, a friendly chat - however brief - with a visiting care worker is extraordinarily precious if it's the only conversation you'll have all day.”

Studies have shown that elderly health improves when sharing knowledge, and overall wellbeing and attitude improves greatly with regular opportunities to talk with friends and loved ones. Live-in care enables clients to socialise with their friends and interest groups again, these opportunities are extremely beneficial for our clients’ mental health as well as their physical.

Fiona Lowry, our CEO, commented: “Caroline Abrahams is absolutely right. Elderly people’s wellbeing suffers greatly from loneliness, and benefits greatly from companionship. At The Good Care Group, we train our carers to give round-the-clock support to our clients, so that we meet their emotional as well as their physical needs.”  

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