New Age UK research has discovered that one in seven older people who received social care before the pandemic has had their support reduced.
The worrying findings reveal that out of the 2.7 million people aged over 65 in England, who had care needs, a million of them said that their needs were not always being met. Research also revealed that a smaller number of the elderly population are no longer receiving any care at all.
Age UK is the country's leading Charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. The Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams said: "Unfortunately, our new findings show these key trends in social care are going in the wrong direction: our older population's need for care will be increasing due to this health emergency, but one in seven older people had told us that they are actually receiving less help than they did before the pandemic began. Without the support they need, there's a very real risk of older people experiencing falls they might otherwise have avoided, and of generally becoming more susceptible to illnesses of all kinds."
The Charity's research has also revealed how the pandemic is directly impacting on older people and their mobility. It seems that being shut away for extended periods is leaving significant numbers of older people with reduced mobility and experiencing a loss of physical capacity. Ordinary activities, such as bathing, going upstairs or tidying the house, have become more complicated, and previously independent older people have become more reliant on walking aids.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on older people. Not only have they had reduced access to their usual health care, but their coping methods, such as physical exercise, support groups, or even day-to-day routines, have been disrupted. Additionally, the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic have often had a knock-on effect on their health.
Caroline Abrahams said: "Social care staff and the services they deliver are being stretched appallingly thin and, as ever, older and disabled people, and their families are being left to pay the price." Age UK has called for an immediate funding increase to support social care and the elderly population in their time of need.