Frail elderly ‘face carers shortage’

The researchers used population projections and survey data in their report

Hands of an elderly person

There will be a shortfall in the number of people able to provide vital unpaid care to frail elderly people in the coming years, a report says.The London School of Economics analysis suggested the gap will start becoming evident by 2017 in England.

By 2032, 160,000 elderly people will be left without the support they need – about one in seven of those who will need help, the experts predicted.

This is because the oldest age groups will grow at the fastest rate.

Researchers used population projections and survey data to compile the figures.

Currently an estimated 675,000 older people rely on unpaid carers – mainly their children – as they fall outside the state support system, which is available to the poorest.

But with the number of over-85s expected to rise at three times the rate of the 50- to 64-year-old age group – the key carers for elderly people – a shortfall will emerge.

Carers UK chief executive Helena Herklots said the problem could have a profound impact on society.

“In addition to the personal costs to families, the costs will be felt across society and public services – more and more older people admitted to hospitals needing avoidable emergency care, businesses coping with stressed staff trying to care alongside work and the economy suffering as increasing numbers of workers are forced to quit work to care,” she said.

Age UK charity director Michelle Mitchell added: “These projections once again underline the huge importance of ending the crisis in social care.”

The warning comes despite the plans to introduce a cap on care costs.

That is because the people who benefit from that will be those who are in care homes.

One Response to Frail elderly ‘face carers shortage’

  1. An ex-carer says:

    We all knew this was coming. Increased longevity is the reason. There is no simple answer. More of us are living longer lives but sadly many do not enjoy good health. We need to look at other rapidly ageing cultures ( possibly Japan )to see if we can find any answers. We must now start ‘ thinking out of the box ‘ as the existing system can never work with the huge numbers involved. Longevity is a wonderful thing but comes with a huge cost to us all in more ways than just money.

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