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Over 75s “left in the dark” over care needs as latest official figures show continued life expectancy gains

Seven in 10 of those aged over 75 have not given long-term care any thought, according to the Just Care Report 2017 as ageing population raises urgent need for improved awareness of the importance of planning care

Biennial ONS statistics1 released today find that the cohort life expectancy at age 75 in 2017 is 87.7 and 89.3 for men and women respectively, while projections suggest those reaching 75 in 2040 will live to 90.8 and 92.3.

The figures raise concerns that many of those aged 75+ are not receiving the help they need to plan adequately for the possibility of needing care in later life. This is despite evidence of increasing pressure on care services from an ageing population which is set to see the numbers aged 85+ double to 3.2 million by 20142.

Planning ahead for care has never been more important. Yet the Just Care Report 20173 released this week indicates that those aged over 75 are not thinking about their care plans:

  • • 70% have not given long term care any thought, planned for it or spoken to friends and family about it
  • • Only 5% have made financial plans and just 3% have discussed the sort of care home they want to stay in
  • • 27% would consider staying with their children yet less than 1 in 10 have actually discussed it with them
  • • A third (33%) would rely on their children to decide on their care arrangements

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just, commented:

“Later life care is a topic many people are not thinking about and they need greater help in understanding the system if they are to receive the kind of care they would like. Today’s figures are further proof that those aged 75 are likely to live into their early 90s but growing life expectancy does mean greater risk of illness and disability with at 80% of over 85 suffering from at least two long-term health issues4.

“With the social care system already under pressure and no imminent sign of reforms, it is crucial that those approaching old age are not left in the dark regarding the importance of planning and they receive help to make plans while they still have time. This will move away from last-minute decisions that may put more emotional and financial stress on their nearest and dearest.”

For further information and analysis please click here for the full Just Care Report 2017.

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