How long do the frail elderly need regular care for?

19 October 2017

A recent study conducted by Newcastle University found that over the last two decades, men spent 2.4 years on average needing regular care. And women spent 3 years.

This regular care includes everything, from help with washing and dressing each day, to round-the-clock care.

Consequently, the researchers suggest there needs to be a sharp increase in the number of care home places in order to cope with the demand.

This research comes as ministers consider a new way to fund the care system. The Government has promised major reform amid reports that councils are struggling to provide enough support to cope with the ageing population.

The latest research, published in the Lancet, looked at both the growth in the number of older people, and at how many of those years were spent needing daily care.

Between 1991 and 2011, life expectancy increased by more than four years for both men and women – to 82.6 years and 85.6 years respectively.

But the number of those years spent with substantial care needs rose much more rapidly, from 1.1 to 2.4 years for men, and 1.6 to 3 years for women.

Researchers predicted that looking ahead to 2025, it means there will be another 350,000 people with high care needs. While, not all of those people will need to live in care homes, researchers estimate the number of care home places would still need to rise by a third to cope with demand.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, from Oxford University, who has advised the Government on social care, said the findings suggested spending on older people would need to “increase substantially and quickly”.

Janet Morisson, Chief Executive of the charity Independent Age, added, “This report is further evidence, if it were needed, that the Government must act urgently to put in place a sustainable social care system that is able to meet the demands of an ageing population.”

You can read the full BBC news article here

You can read the full study published on The Lancet here