Thursday 13 December 2018
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New research reveals over 2 million pensioners struggle to cope with basic tasks

New research reveals over 2 million pensioners struggle to cope with basic tasks Over two million older people living at home in England experience difficulties
with key aspects of living independently, such as cooking, dressing or bathing. Meanwhile,almost half a million older carers provide round the clock care to a
loved one but over 80% do not receive any council services. That’s according to a new report from Independent Age and the Strategic Society Centre, which also
estimates that:

70,000 of the most disabled pensioners do not get any form of paid orunpaid care at home.

Among those supported by care workers or families, 160,000 report inadequate support, saying it only sometimes orhardly ever meets their needs.

Older people in need are much more likely to get disability benefits than receive local authority support
The Bigger Picture report analyses data on the 65+ population in England from the Census, Department for Work and Pen sions, the Health and Social Care
Information Centre and the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing(2011-2013).

It provides a detailed picture of disability and care needs among England’s older population at a local, regional and national level. The aim of the research is to
help councils and care providers toget ready for the Care Act.

The Care Act comes into effect in April 2015 and places new duties on local authorities to offer more help to older people and their carers.
The researchlooks at levels of unmet need for social care, analyses publicly funded support to the over 65’s and considers levels of entitlement to care following the
introduction of the Care Act.

The new report is published a week after the National Audit Office warned that more than half of all councils are not well placed financially to provide the
services they hope to within the next five years, and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services expressed concern that further cuts in social care
budgets look set to erode vital care and support services to disabled and older people.

Simon Bottery, Director of Policy at Independent Age said:“The Care Act is intended to ensure that older people receive better care and support but this new research
highlights alarming gaps even in existing levels of care. Councils need to be acting now if the promises of the Care Act are to be
fulfilled but national government also has to ensure that there is enough fundingto properly implement it. In particular, we need to properly fund preventative
services which delay the moment when older people need more intensive care
and support.”

James Lloyd, Director of the Strategic Society Centre said: “This research shows the scale of the challenge facing local authorities and national policymakers,
if aspirations to support older people with prevention and information contained in the Care Act are to be achieved. We will need a revolution in how councils,
communities and families support older people whostruggle with different aspects of living independently.”