The number of people in the UK aged 80 or older who require 24/7 help to do daily tasks such as dressing, and washing will almost double over the next 20 years, research has shown.
It is estimated that 446,000 of over 80s will have ‘high dependency’ care needs by 2035 – an equivalent to 10% of all men and 20% of all women 80 or over, according to a new study.
The study said health and social care services must adapt to the need of an older population with complex care needs and warned the state should not rely on family carers as a sustainable solution to the problem.
This study comes alongside the growing concern over the cost of providing care for older and vulnerable adults. Councils throughout the UK have reduced social spending by £7 billion since 2010. Councils have said they face a £3.5 billion adult social care funding gap by 2025.
There are fears the social care green paper will come too late as councils are preparing to make cuts to social care services to avoid a financial collapse.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “In the autumn we will set out our plans to reform adult social care alongside our long-term plan for the NHS, so we can address the challenge of our growing ageing population head on and ensure services are sustainable for the future.”
The social care green paper is due this autumn.