How much would it cost to meet the unmet social care needs of older people in England?

Age UK
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This note provides an estimate of how much money it would cost local authorities with adult social care responsibilities to meet the social care needs of older people. Applying data from ELSA to the latest population estimates by age for England, this study obtained the number of people aged 65 or over with unmet needs by number of difficulties. It then multiplied the number of people in each cost category with unmet needs by the average cost (or, equivalently, by £37 times the hours a week) to estimate the weekly cost of providing the services to meet these unmet needs and, by multiplying by 52, the annual costs. The results show that 1,004,000 people aged 65 or over have at least one unmet social care need in England. Meeting these needs would cost around £4.2bn per year. Total expenditure in older people’s social care is budgeted to amount to £6.3 billion in 2015/16, which means that closing this gap in needs would require an increase by 66.6 per cent in budget allocations to adult social care. Meeting the care needs of people with difficulty with performing at least three activities (a measure of substantial need) would cost around £3.8bn. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
older people, ageing, needs, activities of daily living, costs, local authorities, adult social care, economic evaluation;
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