Hundreds of thousands of older people in Britain have been left without state-funded social care in the past four years as a result of council budget cuts and rationed services, a new study shows.
According to the report by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation think tanks, some 245,855 fewer older Britons received help with carrying out everyday activities such as bathing, dressing and eating in 2012-13, compared to 2009-10, showing a 26 percent drop.
The report, published on Wednesday, also found that the number of vulnerable older people receiving “meals on wheels” services has fallen by 59 percent over the same period.
Moreover, the study indicated that spending on home and day care service by councils and funding for meals has fallen by 23 percent and 46 percent respectively in recent years.
“Our analysis paints a picture of increased rationing of social care by hard-pressed local authorities in response to deep cuts from central government, despite the growing numbers of older people in the population,” said Holly Holder, a co-author of the report at the Nuffield Trust.
She also noted that “without adequate data to assess” the effects of cuts, “the National Health Service (NHS) and government are flying blind when it comes to managing demand and planning for the future.”
Meanwhile, a separate analysis by Care and Support Alliance, comprising of 70 charity organizations, predicted that thousands of venerable people will lose out on publicly-funded social care in the UK in the coming years.
Earlier this month, the Age UK charity said that spending on social care for older people has fallen by 1.2 billion pounds since the coalition took office in 2010 despite significant increases in the number of people aged 65 and over in Britain.