The majority of older people in need are more likely to receive disability benefits than help form their local authority, shows new research.
The report from Independent Age and the Strategic Society Centre also reveals that 70,000 of the most disabled pensioners do not get any form of paid or unpaid care at home. Of those caring for a loved one, 80% do not receive any council services.
The Bigger Picture report has been published as councils prepare themselves for new duties in the Care Act, due to be introduced next April. The Act will require councils to provide more social care to both older people and their carers.
Simon Bottery, director of policy at Independent Age, said: ‘The Care Act is intended to ensure that older people receive better care and support but this new research highlights alarming gaps even in existing levels of care.
‘Councils need to be acting now if the promises of the Care Act are to be fulfilled but national government also has to ensure that there is enough funding to properly implement it. In particular, we need to properly fund preventative services which delay the moment when older people need more intensive care and support.’
James Lloyd, director of the Strategic Society Centre, said the report shows the scale of challenges facing councils and called for a ‘revolution’ in how older people are supported.