Age UK calls for more funding for older people with mobility needs

Caroline Abrahams II

Age UK has called on the government to issue more funding for elderly people, many of whom have mobility needs.

The charity said 210,000 people over 65, or one in seven receiving care, have seen a reduction in care since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The poll found that 8% (112,000) were receiving less care, with 7% (98,000) no longer receiving any care.

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In its survey of how the pandemic has impacted older people who need help with the ‘activities of daily living’, Age UK found:

33% of older people who were already struggling to get up and down the stairs say this is now much more difficult or more difficult;

39% who already found it hard to walk short distances outside say this is much more difficult/more difficult;

40% of people who already found it difficult to shower, wash, or have a bath say this is now much more difficult/more difficult; and

43% of people who already found it hard to clean/tidy their house say this is now more difficult/much more difficult. 

The charity said being shut away at home for long periods had left significant numbers of older people with reduced mobility and the loss of physical capacity due to muscle weakness and joint pain.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, (pictured) said: “Unfortunately, our new findings show these key trends in social care are going in the wrong direction: our older population’s need for care will be increasing due to this health emergency, but one in seven older people have told us that they are actually receiving less help than they did before the pandemic began. 

“Without the support they need there’s a very real risk of older people experiencing falls they might otherwise have avoided, and of generally becoming more susceptible to illnesses of all kinds. If you step back and look at health and care in the round it’s obvious that investment in social care pays dividends for the NHS as well – and as they battle COVID-19 our health services clearly need all the help they can get.”  

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have provided billions of pounds worth of additional support to fund social care and local authorities during this pandemic.

“We do not underestimate how difficult the restrictions have been but it is vital people follow the rules and stay at home over the coming weeks so we can bring the transmission rates back down.

“We are increasing testing capacity, investing in rapid testing and supporting vaccines to bring life back to normal as soon as possible.”

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Lee Peart

The author Lee Peart

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