As demand for social care outstrips supply the future looks bleak for older people needing care

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A new report published by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) Centre for Later Life Funding and supported by Age UK, analyses the social care funding measures outlined in the Spending Review which reveal a bleak future for older people needing care. The analysis shows:

  • UK heading towards the bottom of OECD league table for spending on care as proportion of GDP.
  • Local authorities with the highest concentration of older people and with highest reliance on unpaid informal caring will perversely be able to raise least from the Council Tax Precept announced in the Spending Review.
  • Lack of investment will lead to growing reliance on informal carers with significant economic and social implications.
  • Approximately 1.86 million people over the age of 50 in England (1 in 10) have unmet care needs – an increase of 120,000 people (or 7%) since 2008/9.
  • Data from 326 local authorities shows that the councils with the highest concentration of older people and unpaid carers will be the ones that will bring in the least amount of money from the 2% council tax precept.

Following the first in depth analysis of the impact of the Spending Review on social care funding, George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The Spending Review was an opportunity for the Government to address the deep-seated issue of social care funding, but instead they just tinkered around the edges. The 2% rise in council tax falls short of delivering the vital investment needed, penalising the poorest areas of the country. Demand for social care is outstripping supply at an unprecedented rate leaving vulnerable people, many with dementia, to rely on the support of unpaid carers, family and friends.

“This country has a proud record of supporting older people in their time of need. We are in danger of going backwards unless Government grasps the bull by the horns and delivers the bold and radical reform to social care that is so desperately needed.” 

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