1.5 Million British Pensioners Left To Fend For Themselves

In Family, Health and Wellness, Healthcare by Paul Howell

The frightening situation facing many British pensioners as 1.5 million frail individuals are left to fend for themselves.

Millions of British pensioners are struggling to fend for themselves and the situation is only going to get worse going forward. That’s one of the stark realities revealed by new figures from the UK’s largest charity for older people.

According to the Age UK data, one in seven elderly people (approximately 1.5 million individuals) are currently struggling without help to carry out everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, using the lavatory, washing, dressing and even eating. Furthermore, if the situation is not effectively addressed and the current trend continues, this number is expected to rise to 2.1 million by 2030 – an increase of 40% in just a decade!

The charity is calling upon the next government to introduce a new national care system, which would provide care free at the point of use for anyone with at least “moderate” needs. Such a system would require £8 billion in investment over the next two years, echoing recommendations from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

A frightening outlook for many

While getting old is an inevitable part of life, those who face a decline in their abilities to perform everyday tasks struggle in particular. It’s hard enough for people who have friends and family nearby to support them, but for those who are on their own (like many are) the outlook is not just depressing but genuinely frightening.

The relief that a national care system, similar to the NHS, could provide much needed relief and reassurance for many pensioners – not having to worry about struggling alone, or being forced to sell their homes to pay for expensive bills if they need care – would be highly beneficial to all elderly people.

‘Shameful’ situation

Speaking about the figures, Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “It is shameful that one and a half million older people are living with some degree of unmet need for care, equivalent to one in seven of our entire older population.”

Abrahams added that far too many people aged 65-plus are “going without the support they need to live decently and with dignity.”

Meanwhile, NHS Digital data released in November showed that local authorities received 1.9 million new requests for adult social care support in 2018/19. That represents an increase of 3.8% over the previous year. However, the number of people being granted long-term care in England has fallen every year since 2015/16, hitting 841,850 in 2018/19.

These statistics are not only shocking, but saddening at the same time. What is more worrying though is these numbers are only going to get worse unless something is done to address the current situation.

I joined Premier Choice Group as an SME/Corporate Consultant in 2017 and look after the Healthcare & Protection needs of a nationwide portfolio. I began my career in Healthcare and Protection in 1985 with BUPA, before moving on to  Royal & Sun Alliance. In 2002, I became an Intermediary and worked with Private Clients, SME’s and Corporate clients on a local, national and international basis.