Elderly Care in Crisis Report by Age UK

Monday, 27th February 2012

Published 27 February 2012.


Age UK, a prominent charity which supports older people, has released its Care in Crisis Report 2012 which offers a damning analysis of the funding of social care services for older people in the UK.

According to the report, which is based on both official data and Age UK’s research, spend on older people’s care stagnated and then fell between 2005/06 and 2011/12, whilst at the same time the number of people aged over 85 years increased by more than 250,000. As a result, the proportion of councils providing support to older people assessed as having ‘moderate’ needs (based on a four-point needs scale being ‘low’, ‘moderate’, ‘substantial’ or ‘high’) fell from 50% in 2005 to 18% in 2011. There are now approximately 2 million people in England with care-related needs of whom almost 800,000 currently receive no formal support of any kind. It is feared that this figure will increase to 1 million people by 2020.

Despite efforts by Government to protect spending on social care for older people, only £7.3 billion of expenditure has been budgeted for 2011/12, representing a decrease of £341 million (4.5%) in real terms over the year. When the growth in demand for care services is taken into account, it is calculated that there is now a funding shortfall of £500 million (even when back office efficiency savings the Government suggests councils can achieve are taken into account).

Looking forwards, funding will of course need to keep pace with increasing demand and it is projected that spending on social care will need to rise by £1 billion during 2012/13 simply to maintain the same level of services as in 2010. By 2012, spending will need to reach £9.4 billion to prevent the system from deteriorating further, representing an increase of £2.1 billion on this year.

It is clear that there is urgent need for a significant increase in both funding and support for older people who require care services in the UK, without which growing numbers of vulnerable people will be left unable to access the help they need to maintain their dignity and quality of life.

Carefound is a provider of specialist home care services to elderly people in North Yorkshire, enabling clients to continue to live independently in the comfort of their own home whilst maintaining the highest quality of life achievable. Services provided include basic help in the home, companionship, personal care, medication help, post-operative rehabilitation and specialist help such as dementia care and palliative care. The flexible service ranges from 1 hour to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays, and can also encompass 24-hour live-in care services. Carefound is based in Harrogate and helps Clients in surrounding towns and villages including (but not limited to) Wetherby, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Ripon, Thirsk, Pannal, Bedale, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale and Masham. For more information please telephone 01423 774070 or visit www.carefound.co.uk.

Source: Age UK, Carefound.