The UK's crisis-hit social care system is on borrowed time a damning new report warns
Over half of all the country’s over-65s who have difficulties with essential daily activities are living without the support they need.
The 1.2million pensioners left struggling on their own is 18 per cent up on last year and a 48 per cent increase since 2010.
This means one in eight now lives with some level of need going unmet as the percentage of pensioners receiving help fell from 15.3 per cent in 2005/06 to 9.2 per cent in 2013/14.
Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable elderly people are not receiving the help they need to get out of bed, dress or eat, according to the Age UK research.
The huge drop in the number of people eligible for social care, leaves many to fend for themselves or rely on family and friends.
More than 200,000 people across England are thought to go without help bathing despite needing it, while more than 140,000 receive no assistance getting in and out of bed and more than 400,000 get no help with dressing.
The 1.2million pensioners left struggling on their own is 18 per cent up on last year
Some 24,000 need help with eating but do not receive it and more than 78,000 are left with no help getting to the lavatory.
Our new report makes for frightening reading
Almost 2.3million people aged 65-plus have difficulty with at least one activity of daily living, the report said, but 1.2m do not receive the support they need.
The report also warned that England was living on “borrowed time in saving social care for older people from complete collapse”.
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It predicts things will get a lot worse in the coming years as more care home providers pull out of the market and budget cuts mean more restrictions, despite rising demand from an older population.
Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, said: “Our new report makes for frightening reading because it shows just how fragile older people’s social care now is.
“Even worse, unless something changes, the crisis will certainly deepen this year and next, and we think there is now a real risk of a complete collapse in social care in the worst affected areas.
“If this happened it would be a disaster that would threaten the health and even the lives of the older people affected.
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“It would also greatly intensify pressures on our hospitals.”
The charity wants to see an “emergency injection of funds” into social care in the upcoming Budget and a long-term plan for its sustainability.
Margaret Willcox, of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “This report is extremely worrying, yet unsurprising, and reflects the concerns of the whole sector united in the belief that adult social care is at risk of failure to chronic underfunding.
“Councils project a total overspend on adult social care of nearly £450million by the end of this financial year.
One in eight pensioners now lives with some level of need going unmet
“There are increases in demand and cost of social care, providers closing, a rising ageing population and those living with increasingly complex needs.
“Immediate, significant, long-term and sustainable funding is needed to stabilise a care market in crisis. Only genuine new money will solve the crisis which will only get worse whilst we wait for a solution.
“Until this time, more older and disabled people will not get the dignified support they rely upon.
“An even greater toll will be placed on the 6.5m family members and other carers, while increasing pressures will be placed on our hospitals and even more care homes will close, leading to growing gaps and failure.”