Charity highlights urgent need for delayed Green Paper as over 50,000 older people have died waiting for care
Age UK has revealed that 54,024 older people have died waiting for care to begin since the Green Paper was first announced 700 days ago and has emphasised the pressing need for the Paper to be delivered.
On the 8th of March 2017, the Government announced it would publish a Green Paper on social care in the 2017 Budget, helping address the urgent need for better adult social care.
However, since the announcement, the publishing of the Paper has been delayed six times, notes Age UK, which has left older people and their families throughout the country struggling without the vital support that they need.
According to the charity, there are 1.4 million people aged 65 and above whose social care needs are not being met. Paired with an overstretched NHS due to “unsatisfactory levels of home care,” the situation is quickly reaching breaking point.
Currently, the Green Paper is supposed to be delivered before April 2019, according to the Government. But Age UK has highlighted the dangers of the delays of the Paper by highlighting some shocking statistics since the initial announcement in 2017.
The charity said that during this time period, 54,024 older people have died waiting for care to begin, equating to 77 loved ones dying per day and roughly three per hour. Over 7,000 people aged 65 and older have lost their homes and savings through the cost of social care.
Additionally, Age UK revealed that 626,701 requests from older people have left them unable to access the care system, which equals 936 claims without formal care support each day. Almost two million older people have had to become carers in the UK and 195,065 paid social care roles have become vacant.
Finally, over one million older people have developed an unmet need, like being able to wash or dress, and the NHS has wasted £500 per minute through delayed discharge due to lack of social care.
To try and tackle this issue, Age UK is encouraging people to read more about its Care in Crisis campaign and to let the charity know how these issues have affected the individual, adding their voice to many other people who are calling for change.