Tens of thousands of elderly people have died without receiving the care they need, the charity says

Tens of thousands of elderly people have died without receiving the care they need, according to a charity calling for more resources for social care.

Age UK quoted figures from NHS Digital for England showing that in 2021/22 there were 28,890 requests for support for people aged 65 and over where the person died without any of these services being provided.

The charity said that equated to more than 500 deaths a week – more than 70 a day.

Caroline Abrahams, Director of Age UK, said: “There is not enough social care and so some older people are endlessly waiting for the help they desperately need.

“It is heartbreaking that, according to the latest figures, more than 500 elderly people are buried each week without ever receiving the care and support to which they were entitled.

“Nor can the blame for this predicament be placed on the pandemic because, while it certainly hasn’t helped, social services have struggled to secure sufficient staffing and funding in the years leading up to it.

“Since then, all evidence has shown that the situation has not improved and, by most standards, has continued to deteriorate.”

Ms Abrahams said long waits for welfare were “of great concern to the elderly” and “putting unbearable pressure on their families”.

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The charity has written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt saying: “When you were Chair of the Health and Welfare Committee, you expressed deep regret that you are not addressing the problems that social services faced during your time as Secretary of State could.

“Now, as Chancellor, the Spring Budget is your opportunity to help the millions of older people, often unheard and feeling ignored, who are waiting for good, reliable care and support to live a life of dignity.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Everyone should have access to quality social care when they need it and our thoughts are with all those who have lost elderly relatives and loved ones.

“We are providing up to £7.5million in funding over the next two years to support adult social care.

“This will put the adult welfare system on a stronger financial footing and help local authorities address waiting lists, low fee rates and pressure on the workforce in the sector.

“We are also addressing pressure on the workforce by promoting careers in adult social care through our annual national recruitment campaign and investing £15m to increase international recruitment of care workers.”

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