Charity: Local authorities 'rationing care' to the elderly

"Too many" elderly people who need assistance with simple day-to-day tasks are not getting any help from social services, a damning report has claimed. Charity Age UK claimed local authorities are "rationing care".

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Carer: 'The challenges were absolutely huge'

The wife and carer of a 73-year-old man with early onset Lewy Body Dementia has spoken to Daybreak about the emotional and financial challenges facing them as they try to maintain their old life.

Ex-nurse Jenny, 63, said they did not get any initial support because her husband James "had savings over the threshold" and were forced to spend £33,000 on night sitters.

Elderly care report figures 'catastrophic', says charity

A "catastrophic" number of elderly people unable to look after themselves because they lack the necessary support, according to a charity.

Age UK's director, Caroline Abrahams, warned elderly people would seek help at A&E wards, overwhelming the already strained service.

Older people who need help and who are now not getting it are being placed at significant risk and families who care for loved ones are experiencing intolerable strain.

If older people do not receive the care they need and as a consequence end up in A&E units and hospital wards, we have simply shifted people around the system at great financial cost and created distress and disruption for older people in the process.

This makes absolutely no moral or economic sense.

– Caroline Abrahams

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Quality of elderly care 'a postcode lottery'

Elderly people are subjected to a "postcode lottery" in terms of the quality and quantity of support they receive from their local council, a damning report into pensioner care has found.

Age UK published their findings into support received by the elderly from social care services. They found:

  • Many councils are so stretched that they are only able to provide help to people whose needs are deemed to be "substantial" or "critical".
  • Elderly people whose needs are deemed to be "moderate" of "low" are left off the list until their health deteriorates and they require more help.
  • The report states 87% of authorities in England only provide care if the need is deemed to be "substantial" with a further 2% only providing care for those in dire need.
  • Only a "few" councils were able to pay for elderly people with "low" or "moderate" needs to prevent them from reaching a crisis point later on, it adds.

Charity claims elderly are left to 'fend for themselves'

Some pensioners in England are neglected by social services to the point where they have to "fend for themselves" instead of getting the support they need to complete basic tasks, a charity has claimed.

In a damning report from Age UK, "too many" elderly people were said to have been found without the support they needed to get out of bed, bathe, prepare meals and do their food shopping.

Elderly people are suffering because local councils are 'rationing care', charity Age UK claims. Credit: PA

Instead, families with elderly relatives are placed under "intolerable strain" caring for their loved one, the report said.

Age UK suggested access to care had become restricted as many councils battled with funding cuts and claimed local authorities were "rationing care".

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