Time Spent being ‘Frail’ in old age has Doubled over the past two Decades
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the current life expectancy for women in the UK stands at 82.6 years, whilst for men it’s 78.7 years and these numbers are both continuously increasing.
While some may argue that this is an overall positive phenomenon, representing just how far medical advances have come, others believe it to be a huge burden on the NHS.
A study conducted by the University of Newcastle has found that women today are spending on average three years of their life requiring regular care, whilst for men it’s 2.4 years. This regular care includes anything from help washing and dressing every day to round-the-clock care.
With these statistics in mind, researchers believe that by 2025, there will be an additional 350,000 people with high care needs which is inevitably only going to increase the burden on the NHS. The study states that if the UK is to cope with this ever increasing demand, then we need to see a sharp increase in the amount of care home places available.
Clearly, the amount of care our elderly are requiring has become a prominent issue for the UK and it’s one that isn’t going to disappear without government intervention. Janet Morrison, chief executive of the charity Independent Age, agreed with this by saying "This report is further evidence, if it were needed, that the government must act urgently to put in place a sustainable social care system that is able to meet the demands of an ageing population."
However, the issue does appear to have been recognised by the government as they have promised a major reform amid reports that councils are struggling to provide adequate support to cope with the UK’s aging population.