Number of older people left without social care support hits record high

New figures have revealed that the number of older people in England and Wales without social care support has hit a record high.

According to official statistics from AgeUK approximately 1.4 million people aged 65 or over have an unmet with needs such as getting dressed, washed or out of bed.

The charity director of AgeUK, Caroline Abrahams said: “Older people around the country are being very badly let down by the catastrophic lack of government funding for social care.

“Our new analysis echoes what we hear all around the country: it is getting ever harder to access care if you need it and increasing numbers of frail, ill, older people are being left to manage alone.

“It is profoundly shocking that 1.4 million older people, one in seven of the entire older population, now has some degree of unmet need, and the numbers are rising quite fast.”

The statistics also show that the lack of available support is also having a significant impact on the National Health Service; for many patients, the necessary care is unavailable when they’re scheduled to leave hospital so they can’t be discharged. AgeUK estimates that this costs around £289.1 million each year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “No one should be stuck in hospital when their treatment has finished. We expect the NHS to work closely with local authorities to ensure people are treated in the most suitable setting and when they are discharged from hospital they have a care plan in place.

“The government has committed to a long-term plan with a sustainable multi-year settlement for the NHS to help it manage growing patient demand. Health and social care are two sides of the same coin and reforms must be aligned. That’s why our forthcoming green paper will be published in the autumn alongside the NHS plan.”

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