Elderly struggle with daily tasks and unmet needs - report
The report (called 'The Bigger Picture') comes ahead of the Care Act 2014, which will come into effect in April 2015. The Care Act will make councils responsible for their entire elderly population, ensuring their needs are met, even if the care is self-funded and they do not meet eligibility criteria for financial aid.
The Bigger Picture looked specifically at the needs of older people with disabilities or longstanding health conditions who need care and support, and struggle with day-to-day activities.
Over 8,500,000 older people lived in England as of the 2011 Census, with around 4,019,419 living in their own home with limited day-to-day activities due to poor health or disability. 850,000 people received paid care or help at home, with 310,000 being fully or partly funded by the local authority (in total around 570,000 received some type of local authority community support – not always in the home).
The statistics in the new report use this Census data and other research sources to estimate the level of elderly people who currently receive or don't receive care, either paid or unpaid; 70,000 disabled pensioners, for example, are not getting any care at all.
It also looks at the issues faced by older carers. Over 1 million older people were reported to provide some level of unpaid care to another person in the same Census. The Bigger Picture report estimates that some 380,000 provide more than 50 hours of care a week without receiving any local authority services.
The report, coming just in time for the new Care Act's implementation, highlights the work that councils will need to do to ensure that the needs of its elderly community are met, however that is funded.