Blitz generation bears the brunt of £500m crisis in social care

Funding gap is damaging the dignity and health of those aged over 85, charity warns

Frail and vulnerable Second World War veterans are among a generation of elderly people being stripped of their dignity, health and independence by a "critical" £500m shortfall in the social care system, a charity has claimed.

The number of Britons aged 85 or over has risen by 250,000 since 2004-5, but spending on care for older people has fallen over the same period despite the greater needs of a very elderly population, according to Age UK.

One in four people can expect to have a stroke if they live beyond 85, while one third of people aged 95 or over have some form of dementia. Two-thirds of men and women over 85 have some kind of disability or long-standing illness.

Yet this generation is bearing the brunt of a crisis in social care which is denying them the services they need to maintain their dignity, health and independence, the charity warned.

Michelle Mitchell, the head of Age UK, said: "The crisis in social care is resulting in devastating experiences for those older people who survived the Second World War and who deserve so much better.

"As the country pauses to honour the heroic generation who fought for Britain, who defended Britain in the Blitz and who kept the home fires burning, it is absolutely vital that we remember that many of these people are now struggling to get the high-quality social care and support they need to live decently in old age."

The charity's latest analysis suggests that a growing demand for services, combined with a £341m cut in older people's social care budgets in 2011-12, has created a £500m shortfall.

The charity warns that care services have been "whittled to the bone" while the costs of residential care have increased by 4.6 per cent across England and up to 14 per cent in London and the South-east. Meanwhile, local authority home care visits have been restricted to those people with the most pressing needs.

In 2011-12, nearly 80 per cent of local authorities set their eligibility threshold for adult social care at "substantial", and a further 3 per cent set their threshold at "critical". It means hundreds of thousands of the poorest, frailest people are denied state support to plan and pay for essential care.

Age UK urged the Government to tackle the crisis, while committing in the next Comprehensive Spending Review to implement a £35,000 cap on the lifetime cost of care. It argued that this, together with care reform, was vital to create a system that was fair, sustainable and practicable. "Social care is not a luxury. It provides essential support to help people carry out everyday tasks," said Ms Mitchell.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Technician - 1st Line

£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

Special Needs Teaching Assistant

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Special Educational Needs Teach...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London