The way older people are being cared for in England is "shameful" and "scandalous", Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society said.
Both charities criticised the quality of care and the way it was rationed as they published fresh evidence on the state of the care sector. It includes figures that suggest the number of older people not getting help has risen by nearly 50% since 2010.
There are now an estimated 1.2 million over-65s going without help for care - nearly one in eight of all older people. Some 300,000 of them have difficulty with three or more tasks, including dressing, bating and going to the toilet. Councils agreed to help under half the 1.3 million people who approached them for care last year. The BBC identified 11 councils that rejected more than 75% of applications. Where home care was provided "serious problems" were identified in the way dementia patients were treated. Staff said they had not been given enough training to cope with the complex needs people had. Families reported examples of poor care, including loved ones not being given medication, being left in dirty clothes for days and going missing after homes had not been properly secured.
Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said:"From the scandals we have exposed, it is clear home care workers are not fairly or adequately equipped with the skills they need to support vulnerable people. There simply is not enough money invested in the social care."
The Care Quality Commission, warned the sector was at "tipping point" - with the lack of care having an impact on hospitals through rising accident and emergency attendances as vulnerable people sought help.
Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said, "The sad irony is that it would be far more effective as well as infinitely more humane to give older people the care and support they need."
Izzi Seccombe, of the Local Government Association, said: "Unless social care is properly funded, there remains a growing risk to the quality and safety of care, and the ability of services caring for our elderly and vulnerable to meet basic needs such as ensuring people are washed and dressed or helped out of bed."