Number of people needing long-term care will ‘outstrip’ support says report

The number of elderly people needing care will ‘outstrip’ the number of those being able to provide informal care by 2017, a new report has warned.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says that further pressure on funding will be applied.

Their report states that most care for older people is not provided by the state or private agencies but by family members, at an estimated value of £55 billion annually.

And the IPPR report goes on to say that the care gap will be driven even wider, by a “sharp increase” in the number of people aged 65 and over with disabilities.

Already overstretched services “will struggle to provide extra care, with two-thirds of all health resources already devoted to older people and social care services facing a funding crisis”, the report warned.

It added: “Adult children and partners will take on even greater caring responsibilities and more people, particularly women who outnumber men as carers by nearly two to one, are likely to have to give up work to do so.”

The IPPR estimated that by 2030, 230,000 older people who need care of more than 20 hours a week could be left to cope alone.

Long term projections for England suggested that in 2032, more than 1.2 million people aged over 65 who have support needs (of which 860,000 will be 75 or over) will not be receiving any informal care.

And the report warns that “dramatic rises in the cost of care means that those ineligible for state funding, in the absence of informal sources, may struggle to afford formal care services.”

The report also revealed that, since 2010, the average annual cost for an older person who pays for a typical package of care has increased to £7,900 a year, an increase of almost £740.

The number of people aged 65 and over receiving publicly funded care (in their own home and in care homes) has fallen from 1.2 million in 2004/05 to 898,000 in 2012/13, despite the growing elderly population.

  • Data correct at April 2014.
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