Half of councils have not planned for elderly living

Almost half of councils (45 per cent) haven’t sufficiently planned for where elderly people in their communities will live in 10 years’ time, a new report by law firm Irwin Mitchell has revealed.

The report, Elderly Care Crisis: A Tipping Point, also predicts that by 2029, nursing and care home beds will run out, if capacity is not increased.

In addition, Government must address the rising cost of nursing and residential care, which is expected to increase by 16.1 and 14.9 per cent, respectively, over the next few years. Kelly Greig, partner and head of later life at the firm, warns: “Government funding isn’t rising enough to meet the demand.”

Noting that the funding gap in adult social care services will rise to £3.5 billion in 2024-25, the report makes five recommendations to social care ministers and councils:

• Review and reform the care funding system

• Change the eligibility criteria for support in paying for care

• Require councils to plan and allocate land for retirement, care and nursing homes

• Educate workers on the importance of pensions savings

• Support informal carers looking after elderly people.

Greig says: “Our research has revealed a tipping point of 2029 – a time when underfunding and a lack of capacity will culminate in an unmanageable situation for care providers.

With less than a decade to act, the urgency with which the government needs to address the

stabilisation of the care system is critical. This action is vital if we’re to prevent the crisis reaching a tipping point.”

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