People enter care homes at an older age and with more health conditions, a report by the Health Foundation concludes.
The Our ageing population report finds that the average age of care home entrants is now at least 88 years and that almost two in five will enter with two or more health conditions. This implies that older people are living with an increased number of long-term conditions, typically managed by the NHS, without on average needing more support with social care.
As a consequence of later entry, the care home resident population is growing at a slower rate than the body of people aged 65 years or older.
Specifically, the figures are:
- The total number of people in residential settings in the UK (both state and self-funded) has risen by around 9 per cent between 2007 and 2019.
- The number of people aged 65 and older has risen by around 25 per cent over this period.
- The share of those aged 80–84 with two or more conditions increased from 30% in 2006 to 38% in 2015.
The report also finds that users of state funded social care are more likely to enter with a greater healthcare need, due to the association with less wealth and poorer availability of unpaid care provided by family and friends
It also shows the changing picture of funding for social care – NHS or authority, and privately funded over time.