Government-funded care cuts are leaving the elderly to “fend for themselves”, a report has said.
The joint King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust reveal that the number of over-65s being helped by councils had fallen by a quarter in the four years to 2014.
Despite more elderly people needing help, the Trusts said, the Government had yet to put appropriate measures in place to deal with the ageing population.
Care support is means-tested, meaning only the poorest people will get help to pay for services which include help with daily tasks such as cooking, washing and dressing.
The report found that the number of people getting help from their council for care services had fallen by 26 per cent to 850,000 in the four years to 2014.
Overall spending on care by councils had fallen by 25 per cent in real terms in the five years to 2015, to £5.1 billion. Additional money from the NHS and increased contributions from individuals had topped this up to £7.2 billion, representing a cut of 9 per cent in the same period.
The report also revealed that more than one million people with care needs now receive no formal or informal help, a rise of 10 per cent from last year.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We understand the social care system is under pressure, and this government is committed to ensuring those in old age throughout the country can get affordable and dignified care.”