There will be a 25% increase in the number of older people with care needs by 2025, according to new research published in The Lancet Public Health.
According to the research, this mainly reflects population ageing rather than an increase in the prevalence of disability. They say that lifespans will increase further in the next decade and that a quarter of life expectancy at 65 will involve disability.
The main findings are that:
- Between 2015 and 2025, the number of people aged 65 and older will increase by 19.4%, from 10.4 million to 12.4 million.
- The number living with disability will increase by 25%, from 2.25 million to 2.81 million.
- Total life expectancy at 65 will increase by 1.7 years, from 20.1 years to 21.8 years.
- Disability-free life expectancy at age 65 years will increase by 1 year, from 15.4 years to 16.4 years.
- However, life expectancy with disability will increase more in relative terms, with an increase of roughly 15% from 2015 to 2025.
Responding to a study on the increase in older people with care needs, Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said, ‘The fact that people are living longer is to be celebrated, however, this welcome report is further evidence that social care needs to be everyone’s concern.
‘As most people expect to need some form of care in their lifetime, there is an urgent need for the whole country to consider how best to ensure people with care needs are funded and how their care is delivered.
‘The need to future-proof adult social care should be a national priority for the new government.
‘Unless a long-term sustainable solution is established to tackle significant sector pressures, a rising number of elderly and disabled people living longer and with increasingly complex needs, along with their families, will struggle to receive the personal, dignified care they depend on and deserve.
‘Further, how health and housing services, alongside social care, will be resourced and organised will determine both our ability to support vulnerable people and also their quality of life.’