Continuing budget cuts are putting ' an impossible squeeze' on councils' ability to provide care services, local government leaders have warned.
It follows a report by Age UK saying councils were 'desperately trying to square an impossible circle of rising demand and falling funds'.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said cuts were affecting the availability, choice and number of people receiving home care services.
In its report Age UK said 400,000 fewer older people now received social care compared to nine years ago and average spend per person had fallen by 13% as councils were forced to tighten eligibility criteria.
People were finding themselves 'trapped in a nightmare of bureaucracy,' with local authorities struggling to meet growing demands for care with inadequate resources.
Cllr Seccombe called for more investment in adult social care which was facing a funding gap of more than £2bn by 2020.
She said: 'Government needs to plug the funding gap facing adult social care to avoid undermining our mutual aspirations in the Care Act to ensure a diverse and quality provider market that supports people’s wellbeing and independence.'