Number of very elderly needing round-the-clock care set to double by 2035 – Alzheimer’s Society Comments
The number of adults aged 85 years and older needing round-the-clock care will almost double to 446,000 in England over the next 20 years, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.
The overall numbers of over-65s requiring 24-hour care will rise by more than third to over 1 million by 2035. This is according to new estimates that predict an increase in the number of people living into old age with multiple long-term conditions.
The study found that the majority (80%) of older adults living with dementia who need substantial care in 2035 are likely to have two or more other diseases.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“These new estimates paint a challenging future, with the number of people needing constant care – the majority of whom will be living with dementia - starkly increasing in the next twenty years. People with dementia are more likely to face multiple health conditions, making their care needs even more complex. Our Fix Dementia Care campaign has highlighted that already three fifths of people using homecare and 70% of people in care homes have dementia - the social care crisis is a dementia crisis that’s only going to worsen.
“After decades of starved funding, the social care system is buckling under the strain. It is simply not fit for purpose for the 850,000 people living with dementia and their carers across the UK, with this study serving as a wake-up call of what’s to come. Through our helpline we hear of people with dementia being forced to choose between a wash or a hot meal due to the limited time of a homecare visit, and ending up in hospital with an infection because they didn’t have the support to shower each day.
“When the system doesn’t work, the pressure falls on family carers. Our Turning up the Volume report showed that around three in five carers (61%) say their health has been negatively affected by caring for someone with dementia, adding to the health burden. The government cannot shy away from this crisis any longer. We need them to face the issues head on in the upcoming Green Paper and NHS plans.”