Cuts Watch #299: Care for older people
New research commissioned by Age UK suggests that 250,000 older people are set to lose care services as a result of spending cuts. The projections look at the impact of a 7 per cent real-terms cut to local councils’ spending on care for older people (less than 2 per cent per year, if spread over 4 years). The results show that a 7 per cent cut is projected to lead to 250,000 fewer older people receiving care in their own home (a 38 per cent decline, from 650,000 expected to receive home care in 2010/11).
- Of these older people, 100,000 are projected to go without any support at all, while the remainder would be expected to buy support privately.
- There would be a 23 per cent rise in unmet need, when measured in hours of personal care required but not provided (by neither paid or informal carers).
- There would be a 25 per cent rise in hours of personal care provided by informal carers.
Age UK’s charity director, Michelle Mitchell, said:
These projections suggest that, even though the spending settlement for social care was better than expected, hundreds of thousands of older people could still lose the care and support they rely on. If the government is serious about looking after society’s most vulnerable, it must keep social care funding under review and if necessary, increase the money it has set aside for care, should it become clear it is not enough.