Age UK has warned that elderly people in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are struggling to get out of bed or use the toilet due to the lack of vital support.
Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has described the social care system as “failing” and has urged the Government to produce a “bold and ambitious” solution to the problem.
More than 17,650 people aged 65 years or older or more are now providing long term unpaid care in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, highlighting the extent to which friends and family are now papering over the cracks of a failing social care system.
New research also shows that more than half (55 per cent) of older people across England who need care at home are having to rely on friends and family for essential support.
Melanie Wicklen from Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said: “These figures show how badly our underfunded social care system is failing people when they most need support.
“In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough we have almost 121,400 older people living with long term health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia. Far too many people are struggling to do the basics, such as getting out of bed, getting dressed or going to the toilet, because they lack vital support.
“Many people have to rely on frail and elderly family or friends for help because they have nowhere else to turn. This can put enormous strain on people at an already difficult time in their lives.
“Especially for older carers, these additional responsibilities can seriously affect their own health and be very isolating. The system currently isn’t fit for purpose. We have to do better.
“The Government must urgently fill the short term funding gap for social care, but also to ensure that the Government’s long overdue social care green paper is bold and innovative, and delivered, as promised, in 2018. We cannot continue to fail older people who need help.”
Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is calling on the Government to fill the short-term funding gap and produce a “big and bold” set of proposals in the upcoming social care green paper that provides the basis for a sustainable care system for people in the future.
Age UK’s research also showed that:
. One in five older people have missed meals recently.
. 32 per cent of unpaid older carers said they were unable to take a break from caring.
, One in four people had to get hospital treatment because of a failing care system.
. 42 per cent of older carers feel lonely and isolated.