There has been a sharp rise in the number of vulnerable older people being left to fend for themselves, according to research.
Age UK says the number of individuals with unmet care needs have increased by 19% in the last two years, with nearly one in seven people with care needs now not receiving support for everyday tasks such as getting out of bed and getting dressed.
The report published today says 307,000 of the 1.4 million people affected need help with three or more tasks. However, half of these people were found to receive no support from carers, family members or friends.
The research also estimates that delayed discharges from hospital due to a lack of social care are now costing the NHS more than £500 a minute.
Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams warned falling levels of access to social care will lead to lives becoming “more miserable”.
Responding to a report, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board Izzi Seccombe (Con) said unmet need will continue to rise without a long-term funding settlement for social care.
She added: “To prevent crises in the NHS, government needs to plug the £3.5bn funding gap facing adult social care by 2025 and reverse the £600m in reductions to councils’ public health grants between 2015-16 and 2019-20.
“But, crucially, we need to address the root causes of ill-health and loss of independence as well as the symptoms of system pressures, such as growing demand on our hospitals. Investment in councils’ prevention work in our communities is vital in reducing demands on the NHS and will save money to the public purse.”