old person sat on chair looking out window

Increasing number of elderly people dying before getting social care, says Age UK

New data from Age UK has revealed that a large number of older people are dying each month before getting the social care that they need.

Age UK demanded that the government allocate more funds to the field, claiming that staffing shortages and a dearth of investment were to blame for lengthy delays in care provision.

According to its analysis, 28,890 elderly people passed away in 2020-21 without getting the care and assistance they needed, which works out to 79 deaths per day or 2,408 per month.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s director, told The Times:

“There isn’t enough social care to go round and so some older people are waiting endlessly for help they badly need. It is heartbreaking that on the latest figures, more than 500 older people a week are going to their graves without ever receiving the care and support to which they were entitled.

These long waits are causing huge distress to older people as they struggle to carry on living their lives and placing intolerable pressure on their families. And what happens to those with no one to step in and help?”

In an analysis by Age UK, 28% of individuals in England who request a social care assessment wait six months or more. 2.6 million adults in England over the age of 50 are estimated to have unmet care needs, despite possibly requiring assistance with daily tasks.

The charity has presented Chancellor Jeremy Hunt with a petition with more than 30,000 signatures urging him to reduce the delays by allocating more funding to social care. Between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, there were 20,000 more open positions in the home care sector, says The Times, bringing the estimated vacancy rate in England up to 14%.

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