Age UK said it was “deeply concerned” about the plight of elderly people whose needs are not being met. Thousands of older people have died without getting the care they needed. Millions of older people in England awaiting care were “struggling to go to the toilet, eat, get dressed or wash because they can’t do these things unaided”.
28,890 requests for people aged 65 and over to be given support in 2021-22 were recorded as them having died without any services being provided. The numbers equated to more than 550 deaths a week – or 79 a day.
Age UK's director, Caroline Abrahams, said: “There isn’t enough social care to go round and so some older people are waiting endlessly for help they badly need. It is heartbreaking that on the latest figures, more than 500 older people a week are going to their graves without ever receiving the care and support to which they were entitled. Nor can the blame for this parlous situation be placed on the pandemic, for while it certainly didn’t help, social care services were struggling to secure enough staff and funding in the years preceding it." She added, “Since then, all the evidence is that the position has not got any better and, on most measures, has continued to get worse.”
Abrahams said long waits for social care caused “huge distress to older people” and placed “intolerable pressure on their families...We fear there are many tragedies playing out silently behind closed doors.”
Growing old is inevitable but the way we get old is not.