Latest Public Sector News

07.07.15

More than a million missing out on home social care

More than one million older people are not receiving the home social care they need, according to new analysis by Age UK. 

The charity revealed that this is 100,000 more than last year. The figures also highlight that nearly a third (31.1%) of all of those who have difficulty in carrying out one or more essential activities of daily life are not receiving any formal or informal help. 

More specifically the figures mean: 

  • Over half of those who struggle to wash/get in the bath do not receive any help (580,000 out of 1,120,000.)
  • More than one in three of those who find it difficult to go to the toilet do not receive any help (140,000 out of 400,000)
  • One in three of those who find it hard to get out of bed on their own do not receive any help (210,000 out of 650,000)
  • Over four in five of those who need help taking their medication do not receive any help (230,000 out of 270,000)
  • Almost two thirds of those who find it hard to eat on their own do not receive any help (180,000 out of 290,000)
  • Over two fifths of those who find it difficult to get dressed do not receive any help (680,000 out of 1,530,000) 

Responding to the report, Ray James, president of Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: “Much of this study is not inconsistent with the findings of our own budget survey published last month – particularly where colleague directors warned of the growing evidence of unmet need. 

“The picture that AGE UK has drawn is what unmet need looks like!” 

“As well as pointing to the £1.1 billion shortfall in adult social care budgets this year, our survey, which AGE UK have quoted from, showed alarming reductions in confidence by directors of adult social services that they will be able to sustain effective, comprehensive services going forward from April 2016.” 

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, added that the 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. 

“Not only are they without help from the social care system, they are also not getting it from family, friends or neighbours either,” she said. 

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association's community wellbeing board, said the report highlights the LGA’s very real concerns around decreasing funding for the basic services elderly people have come to rely on, such as help with washing, dressing and eating. 

“Tomorrow’s Budget will be an ideal opportunity for that funding gap to be addressed,” she added.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com 

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