A new report has found that by 2035, the number of people aged over 85 who require 24-hour care is set to double.
The study was published in the Lancet Public Health journal, explaining that growing life expectancy is the cause for the rapid increase in the number of people who will require assistance with basic tasks such as washing, dressing and going to the toilet.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the fastest growing group of people in the UK is people aged over 85, which are set to increase by 1.5 million by 2035. As well as those aged 85 and older, the need for 24-hour care for those over 65 years old is set to rise by a third too.
Age UK’s charity director, Caroline Abrahams, stressed the importance of the government approaching this issue with urgency.
“The government’s top priority must be to steady the ship and then produce a great set of proposals later this year to give our older population confidence they can get the help they need,” she said.
While this will lead to more pressure on the care industry to provide care to those who need it, it will also lead to more family members becoming unpaid carers, despite the increase of retirement age causing children of people aged 85 or older having less capacity to provide unpaid care. Care from family members is often not a long-term solution either, due to the stresses it can place on the mental and physical health of the carer.
Prof Carol Jagger, who is from the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and was the lead on the study commented that high-dependency elderly people will likely require professional care for their need to be met adequately.
“This expanding group will have more complex care needs that are unlikely to be met adequately without improved co-ordination between different specialities.”
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