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Elderly care provided by government is unacceptable, says charity

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New figures released by charity Age UK have revealed that over a million people struggle with basic tasks such as getting out of bed, washing and dressing, but have no help from government or local councils. 

The figures show that nearly a third (31.1%) of older people struggle with essential daily activity without any form of help. They found that half of those who find it difficult to wash do not receive and help, as well as two thirds of elderly people who find it hard to eat.

Age UK say a growing elderly population combined with budget cuts has resulted in a “downward spiral” in social care. Caroline Abrahams, Director at Age UK said: “These new figures mean that for the first time in this country, more than a million older people with a social care need are being left to cope on their own. To have to struggle alone is unfair on these older people and also unacceptable in a civilised society.”

The report by the charity also highlights the impact of reduced care budgets on the NHS, claiming that cutting social care funding by almost a third over the past decade is putting additional pressure on the NHS. Their analysis found that the number of over 65s admitted to hospital in ‘unplanned emergencies’ each year has increased by 400,000 in the last ten years.

Fiona Lowry, CEO of the Good Care Group, said: “With help increasingly not provided by local councils, organising care at home directly can be the best way to ensure that your loved ones are getting the level of care and attention they deserve. Live-in care, delivered by fully-trained carers, helps people live well in their own home for longer, as well as vastly reducing the likelihood of being admitted to hospital for preventable reasons such as falls.” 

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