1 million elderly don’t get basic care they need !

Pensioners struggling without help from family, neighbours or state.

Further cuts to care budgets will hit ageing population.

Charlie Cooper writes in The Independent regarding the country’s leading charity representing older people stating there is an ‘unacceptable level of care for 1 million elderly’ as figures reveal they now get no help at all for basic care.

Age UK said savage cuts to social care budgets under the Coalition, combined with a growing elderly population, has led to an “exponential” increase in the number of people left struggling alone.

For the first time, Age UK said, more than a million people in England have a care need – such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet, preparing food or taking medication – but receive no help from the state, self-funded care services, or from friends or family.

Elderly ManWhile the report’s findings relate to England, all parts of the UK are struggling to cope with a growing elderly population. In Scotland, care leaders last month proposed freezing NHS funding and transferring money to home care providers.

The charity said 1,004,000 people fall into this category – an increase of more than 100,000 in the past year.

The Government plans further cuts of £1.1bn to adult social care budgets for 2015/16. Care funding has already plunged by a third to £5.46bn in the past 10 years. Care leaders say it is “almost unendurable” on the frontline, where thousands of jobs have been lost and services scaled back.

The population of over 70s is set to hit nearly 7.9 million by 2020 in England alone – one million more than today. Last week, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called for people to take greater responsibility to combat the “national shame” that one in 10 elderly people have contact with family less than once a month.

But Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, said that while culture change is needed, the “immediate problem” had been caused by the Governments cuts.  “To have to  struggle alone is unfair on these older people and also unacceptable in a civilised society,” she said.

Age UK – whose analysis is based on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing by UCL, the University of Manchester, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and NatCen Social Research – also said annual emergency admissions to hospital for over-65s have risen by 400.,000 in a decade, suggesting cuts to social care may be increasing pressure on the NHS.

“The sinister disease that is destroying the basic needs of many sectors of our society continues unchecked. With an administration unmoved by criticism and literally having blood on their hands, any improvement is unlikely. Our World, eventually, is going to be a very bad place”

Men more likely to Care for Elderly Relatives

More men than women in the “sandwich generation” provide day-to-day help for ageing parents, while supporting their own children, a study indicates.

Nearly three quarters of fathers said that they helped to “maintain the wellbeing”  of a parent or a parent-in-law compared with two thirds of mothers, according to Mintel, the market research company. Men were also more likely to support parents financially.

Overall, nearly four in ten did shopping for their parents, the most popular task, and the same proportion took parents for medical appointments. Nearly a third went with them on holiday.

A Care logoJack Duckett, a consumer lifestyle analyst at Mintel, said that today’s parents were increasingly under pressure to care for and support not only their own offspring but also ageing parents while holding down a job.

“As the sandwich generation grows, providing additional support to those caring for both children and parents, as well as providing them with opportunities to take time out for themselves, will be essential,” Mr Duckett said.

There is huge value to be found in helping these multi-generational family structures enjoy time together, as it allows them not only to build strong emotional bonds, but also to share important life skills.”

One major benefit to arise from the time pressures put on sandwich generation adults is the number of hours children get to spend with their grandparents.

Three quarters of parents in this category say their children spend some free time with their grandparents and that they try to find activities all three generations can do and enjoy together.

Emily Holzhausen, director of policy at the charity Carers UK, said that men were also active full-time carers of parents and elderly relatives.

“Caring is something that affects us all at some point in our lives, whether we find ourselves providing support to someone we love or need some help ourselves. Although people often think of caring as a women’s issue, four in ten carers are men,” she said.

“Carers UK’s research shows that caring can have a big impact on carers’ lives even when it is not around-the-clock. It can be a struggle for many carers trying to juggle care for an older parent alongside work or other family responsibilities like childcare, while still finding time to look after their own health and wellbeing.”

Bennet. R 2015 THE TIMES 25th March 2015 P. 9

“Many carers ruin their own mental and/or physical health looking after a loved one – Because they don’t want to lose them and they couldn’t ‘hack’ seeing them in a bad way, stuck in a nursing home.”