Third of over-80s receiving inadequate support with daily activities

A third of people over the age of 80 are receiving inadequate care and support to carry out essential tasks such as washing and dressing, a leading charity has today warned.

Research conducted by Age UK found that around 30% of over 80s had unmet care needs and did not receive any support with activities of daily living (ADLs).

More than half of elderly people with at least one ADL currently do not receive assistance at all with day-to-day tasks, and of those that did get help it did not fully meet the needs of 70% of them.

And 56% of people with three or more ADLs reported that they were not receiving enough help with going about their daily tasks.

This has led the charity to call on the government to ensure that older people receive dignified care at home, in community care and in hospital. It also stated that the government needed to continue with emergency funding for the sector on top of an effective long term plan for sustainable social care.

Margaret Willcox, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said that the report was further evidence of the social care sector being at “crisis point,” and reflects the organisation’s long call for a long-term, sustainable fix.

“Not being able to meet essential care needs is distressing and impacts on social workers as well as care staff,” Willcox said. “The next government needs to make social care a national priority to provide dignified and respectful care to elderly and disabled people who are living longer and with increasingly complex needs.”

But Willcox was also quick to state that social care’s woes would not be solved solely through new money.

“The new government will need to support a recruitment campaign to help train and retain staff to better support dedicated carers who are doing a fantastic job in challenging circumstances,” the ADASS president concluded.

“This will further help to ensure that current and future generations can receive the care they need and deserve.”

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