Older residents 'at risk from lack of care'

17 December 2018 08:25

Local authorities pay £585 on average per week for all residential care types

Local authorities pay £585 on average per week for all residential care types

Over 4.3 million older people in the UK are at risk of not getting the care they need just because of their postcode, new research has revealed.

Just one in five local areas provide enough care to meet the needs of people aged 75 and over, with over a third (33%) of local authorities predicting conditions will deteriorate over the next year.

In its annual Older People's Care Survey, Coram Family and Childcare Trust found significant variation in the level of social care provided from region to region.

Not enough care

The study, sponsored by Legal & General, found no local authorities in Inner London or Northern Ireland had enough care to meet demand in their area.

In the East Midlands and North East almost half (44%) did, while only 1% of local authorities expect to see an improvement.

Following a series of Freedom of Information requests to local authorities, the charity found the average residential cost varies between region, with the average price for a week of residential care in inner London 32% more expensive than in the North West.

Local authorities pay £585 on average per week for all residential care types, a 5% rise since last year.

The research found that self-funders are likely to struggle with prices 13% higher than those paid by local authorities for residential care. Even if people funding their own care paid the same price as local authorities, at nearly £17 an hour, it will take just one year and one month to spend £20,000 of savings for 21 hours of support a week.

Older people who require care at home are also at risk, with only half of local authorities (51%) reporting enough in their area.

Improve wellbeing

Megan Jarvie, head of Coram Family and Childcare, said: "High quality care for older people can help to improve their wellbeing and stay well for longer.

"But the gaps in care that we have found are likely to cause stress and hardship for older people and their families.

"Fixing our care system is an opportunity to support older people and their families to lead happier, healthier lives and to reduce the strain on the NHS."

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