Age UK on the care crisis
Age UK has published a damning report today looking at the depth of the social care crisis.
The report, “Care in Crisis: Causes and Solutions”, shows that care and support for older people in England has reached a breaking point.
800,000 people in need of care currently receive no formal support from either the state or private sector agencies.
Age UK predicts that this figure could rise to one million within four years, due to government spending cuts.
By 2014, England will spend £250 million less (in real terms) on care for older people compared to a decade ago. At the same time, the number of people over age 85 has risen by 630,000.
There is little doubt that the care system in England is in a tough position.
An ageing population combined with less money to spend on social care means that older people are increasingly having to fund their own care in later life.
This often means selling a home followed by difficult decisions about the best way to structure assets to ensure that money does not run out.
The Age UK report contains some important statistics which highlight the state of social care in England.
Back in 2005/06, half of councils provided support to people assessed as having ‘moderate’ needs, but in 2011/12 the figure has fallen to 15%.
This means that the number of people receiving local authority funded care at home has been slashed from 489,000 in 2004/05, to 299,000 in 2009/10.
We look forward to seeing the government response to this new research.
For people needing care now, we suspect that it will be years before the English social care system is sufficiently repaired through new policies and government initiatives.
Photo credit: Flickr/Jim Linwood