Situation means rising numbers are ending up in hospital because they cannot cope
- A million elderly people struggle on their own but desperately need help
- Charity Age UK says the situation is ‘unacceptable’ in a civilised society
- Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged families to stay in touch with relatives
More than a million elderly people have been left to look after themselves without home-help or care from family and friends, a study shows. They are forced to struggle on their own with getting out of bed, washing and preparing meals, even though they desperately need support.
The charity Age UK says the situation is ‘unacceptable’ in a civilized society and is leading to rising numbers of the elderly ending up in hospital as they just cannot cope.
Last week Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged families to stay in touch with ageing relatives, warning that too many were not even aware when their relations died.
An analysis by Age UK found that 1,004,000 people over 65 who have difficulty with basic tasks have to battle alone without help. This number has risen by 100,000 in a year – 10 per cent – and the situation will only get worse as the population ages. The charity blames cuts to council funding, which have left dependent elderly people without vital home-help. This makes it imperative that family, friends and neighbours look out for these individuals and try to step-in where they can.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said: ‘These new figures mean that for the first time in this country, more than a million older people with a social care need are being left to cope on their own.