A survey by the Family and Childcare Trust has revealed that four in five local authorities in the UK report not having enough care for older people in their area.
The Trust’s Older People’s Care Survey funded by Legal & General found more than 6.4 million people aged 65 and over are living in areas that do not have enough older people’s care to meet demand.
Shortages in certain types of care were also acknowledged. Although 84 per cent of local authorities in the UK say they have enough availability for care home places, that figure falls to 48 per cent for at home care, and 44 per cent for extra care homes. Meanwhile, just 32 per cent of local authorities report having enough nursing homes with specialist dementia support.
Claire Harding, head of Research at Family and Childcare Trust said: “It is inexcusable that vulnerable people are left unable to find the care that they need. We urge the government to make sure there is enough care for everyone who needs it.
“In order to do this, we need robust data on where there are gaps in care, a funding system that truly meets the cost of providing care, and clear information for families. Without these steps, families will continue to struggle to find care and to meet the numerous care costs on their shoulders.”
Local authorities responding to the survey reported large data gaps regarding the numbers of self-funders in their area and the fees self-funders pay to care providers. Almost three in four local authorities were not able to provide data on the rates that self-funders pay.
Where information was available, UK averages calculated by the Family and Childcare Trust show that self-funder fees for all residential types are 20 per cent more expensive than the fees paid by local authorities.
At the average cost of £16 an hour for 21 hours a week of at home care, it will take a self-funder just one year and one month to go through £20,000 worth of savings.
Download the report here