A lack of social care and delayed hospital discharges is costing the cash-strung NHS £500-a-minute, according to estimates from Age UK.
A total of £289.1m is being drained from the coffers of the health service in England as a result.
Around one in seven older people are living with an unmet care need – up a fifth in the last two years.
Is this what we want for our parents and grandparents, husbands and wives, older neighbours and friends in 2018?
Of the 1.4 million older people affected, more than 300,000 need help with three or more essential tasks, ranging from getting out of bed to going to the toilet and dressing. But these needs are not being met with half receiving no help at all from paid carers, family or friends.
“Our new analysis echoes what we hear all round the country: it is getting ever harder to access care if you need it and increasing numbers of frail, ill older people are being left to manage alone,” said Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director. “If an older person needs social care but can’t get it this is a sure-fire recipe for them to become weaker and less well.
“Is this what we want for our parents and grandparents, husbands and wives, older neighbours and friends in 2018?”