Researchers at Newcastle University have confirmed the general view that people are living longer, but that the later years of life often require high levels care (whether in people’s own homes or in residential care). They estimate that there will be a further 350,000 people with high care needs by 2025.
Life expectancy increased by more than four years for both men and women to 82.6 and 85.6 years respectively between 1991 and 2011, while the number of those years spent with substantial care needs rose much more rapidly, from 1.1 to 2.4 for men and 1.6 to 3 years for women.
The Government has responded claiming that local authorities have been awarded an extra £2 billion per year to help develop a social care system which is more sustainable and better able to meet the demands of an ageing population, while reducing regional inequalities in the provision of care.
Time spent frail in old age ‘doubles’. London: BBC Health News, August 16th 2017.
This relates to:
Kingston, A. Wohland, P. [and] Wittenberg, R. [et al]; Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies Collaboration (2017). Is late-life dependency increasing or not? A comparison of the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS). Lancet. August 15th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].
Further background on the likely shortfall in the number of UK care homes beds for elderly people in the more imminent future:
Fenwick, S. (2017). Care homes face ‘huge shortfall’ in available beds. London: BBC Health News / BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, August 2nd 2017.