William Eichler 17 May 2017

Third of over 80s have ‘unmet’ care needs

Third of over 80s have ‘unmet’ care needs image

Almost a third of over 80s are receiving inadequate care and support, warns charity as they call on the major political parties to to put social care at the heart of their election manifestos.

Research by Age UK has revealed around 30% of the ‘oldest old’ - people over 80 - are struggling with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like washing and dressing.

There are around 2,622,000 people over 80 living in England, according to the charity. Almost a million have at least one ADL, and thousands are affected by several different ADLs.

Out of the 926,000 over 80s with at least one ADL, 53% get no assistance. And of those who do get help, for 70% it does not fully meet their needs. About 794,000 do not receive any help or receive support that does not always meet their needs.

There are 260,000 people over 80 with three or more ADLs. Around 33% are not receiving any help and 56% have unmet needs due to not receiving enough help.

Age UK called on the Government to continue its ‘twin track approach’ of emergency funding alongside developing an effective long term plan for sustainable social care.

Responding to the findings, Margaret Willcox, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: ‘This welcome report is further evidence of social care at crisis point and reflects the entire sector's call for a long-term and sustainable solution to social care funding.

‘Not being able to meet essential care needs is distressing and impacts on social workers as well as care staff.

‘The next Government needs to make social care a national priority to provide dignified and respectful care to elderly and disabled people who are living longer and with increasingly complex needs.’

Ms Willcox warned extra funding alone would not be sufficient. She said the next Government should ‘support a recruitment campaign to help train and retain staff to better support dedicated carers’.

‘This will further help to ensure that current and future generations can receive the care they need and deserve,’ she added.

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