More than two-thirds (67%) of British adults agree that they are worried about who will care for them when they’re older. That’s according to new polling for Independent Age, the older people’s charity, conducted by ComRes1.
The polling reveals that concern is highest amongst those approaching retirement, with 69% of 55-64 year olds agreeing with the statement ‘I am worried about who will care for me when I’m older’. But even ‘millennials’ are concerned, with 59% of 18-24 year olds agreeing with the statement.
The results reveal that two-thirds (66%) of British adults are not confident that the UK Government will ‘protect funding for care services for elderly and disabled people over the next ten years’.
And this concern spans the political divide, with 51% of Conservative supporters, 72% of Labour supporters, 77% of Lib Dem supporters and 74% of UKIP supporters not confident that the UK Government will protect funding for care services.
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:
“Older people know all too well the consequences of failure to invest in our health and social care systems. Tens of thousands of frail and elderly people are struggling by without support. And our health system keeps too many older people in hospital, unable to leave because care isn’t available for them in the community.
“But this polling clearly shows that working age adults, including younger generations, are also worried about who will care for them when they are older and do not have confidence that social care will be protected from cuts.
“It is time for politicians of all parties to come together to secure the future of these vital services, for older people now and in the future. That is why we support a cross-party, independent commission on the future of health and social care.”
The findings come amid growing pressures on health and social care. Almost a quarter of the population will be over the age of 65 in twenty years’ time2. The Kings Fund recently announced they expect NHS Trusts to be £2.3 billion in deficit by the end of this year3. Meanwhile, social care budgets have been reduced by £4.6 billion since 2009-20104.
And while 400,000 fewer people received social care support in 2013/14 compared to five years earlier5, more than half a million hospital bed days were lost in 2015 because of ‘delayed transfers of care’ (otherwise healthy patients stuck in hospital beds) because social care support was not in place.6