Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fewer elderly receiving help at home, warns charity

  • 1 Comment

A charity is warning that elderly people in desperate need of support in their homes are facing cuts as new figures show a dramatic drop in the numbers given help.

Age UK said hundreds of thousands of people need support with “basic tasks” such as washing and dressing but do not get it as local authorities continue to restrict access to social care.

New figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show a substantial drop in the numbers given help and the numbers actually being assessed - despite almost static demand.

A total of 1.3 million adults received social services in England in 2012/13, a 9% drop on 2011/12 and 25% on 2007/8.

Among the 1.3 million people receiving help, 1.1 million received services in the community (a fall of 10% on 2011/12), while 209,000 received residential care (down 2% on 2011/12). A further 87,000 received nursing care (less than a 1% change on 2011/12).

The number of new enquiries made to council social service departments in 2012/13 was 2.1 million (down less than 1% from 2011/12, but up 1% from 2007/08).

The figures showed far fewer people are being assessed than in 2007/08.

Following enquiries, there were 603,000 assessments for new clients in 2012/13 (down less than 1% from 2011/12 but down 9% from 2007/08).

Two-thirds (67%) of assessments resulted in the person receiving services (a decrease of less than 1% from 2011/12).

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “These figures show how increasingly desperate the care crisis is, with the numbers of people receiving care falling, as are the number of people actually being assessed to see if they need support.

“It’s clear that frontline cuts are leaving older people struggling on alone whilst living with chronic illnesses and disability.

“We already know that there are hundreds and thousands of older people who need help with basic tasks such as washing, dressing or cleaning their teeth and who do not receive it.

“As local authorities continue to restrict eligibility for the people with highest needs the situation looks bleaker than ever. Those older people unable to access care are being denied their dignity and peace of mind at the point of greatest vulnerability.

“The care system is fragmenting and nothing will change until the government accepts the fact that the funding system has failed and acts so that adequate funds are made available. Legislative reform is vital but pointless with insufficient funding in place.”

Care and support minister Norman Lamb said: “Social care is a priority for the government, which is why we have allocated an extra £200m for 2014/15 to help local authorities maintain access to services and created a £3.8bn budget for health and social care.

“This investment in a joined-up approach will help people to stay healthy and independent at home.

“Councils are best placed to decide what services are needed in their area but we are clear that they must use resources effectively to ensure that the care people receive meets their needs and gives them more control over their daily lives.”

Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Rise in readmissions, not enough support at home. Ummm... I can work that one out, and just on a modest salary!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs