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Unmet need mounts as politicians prevaricate

February 11, 2019

More than 50,000 older people have now died waiting in vain for care during the 700 days since the Government first said it would publish a Green Paper on paying for social care, according to older people’s charity Age UK.

In addition, during the same 700 day period, 1,263,844 older people have developed an unmet need, such as being able to wash or dress. This is 1,805 developing an unmet need every day.

Over the same period, in excess of half a million older people (626,701) have had their requests for social care refused by their council, and 7,240 older people have had the terrible experience of running down all their savings because of their care bills, leaving them reliant on the State to fund their care in future and with nothing to leave for loved ones after their death.

Age UK says this demonstrates why the Government must come forward with proposals to reform and properly fund social care, sooner rather than later.

“These tragic new figures demonstrate just how many older people are now suffering from the Government’s failure to act decisively on social care,” said Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams.

“No one can say whether some of those who have died might have lived longer had they received care, but at the very least their final weeks and months might have been more comfortable and their families’ lives made easier, had they been given more support.

“Some policymakers talk about social care as though it was some kind of ‘nice to have’ discretionary purchase, but for older people whose health is in decline and who may be approaching the end of their lives it is an absolutely vital public service, and sustaining it and ensuring it is of good quality ought to be a top Government priority.”

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