The Kings Fund estimate councils spend ¬£22.2 bn a year (57% of their total budget) on adult social care. With the ageing population The Health Foundation estimates councils will need to spend an additional ¬£2.2bn just to keep pace with demand. Only 15 per cent of adults are making plans for how they will pay for care they might need in the future while half of English adults say that they have never thought about how they will pay for care when they get older. 44% of the UK population think adult social care is provided by the NHS. (Source Local Government Association 2018) Only 6% of the elderly live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. 93.5% live in the community at large. According to the Care Quality Commission 1.4 million elderly were not receiving the care and support they needed even before the pandemic. According to the Office for National Statistics there were just over 2.5 million people over the age of 70 living alone in 1996. In 2019 there were 3.2 million. NHS have highlighted that beds are taken up by elderly people who can‚’t be discharged because there is nowhere in the care system to send them. The average cost of a residential care home per person per year is ¬£33,852 or ¬£47,320 when nursing care is included. This is beyond the means of a large section of the population. Adult Social Care is seen as a low paid, thankless profession with poor prospects. Attracting enough care staff will be even harder against a growing demand curve without better job prospects. COVID-19 has highlighted the vulnerabilities and lack of provision for the elderly like never before. Let‚’s take this opportunity to really address the issues with action.
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