Three elderly people are dying every hour awaiting care, according to new research by Age UK.
The older people’s charity said 74,000 people aged over 65 in England have died or will die between the last and forthcoming General Election.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Unfortunately we have effectively wasted the last eighteen months, waiting for the Social Care Green Paper that never was. Many older people have lost out as a result, including the 74,000 who had applied or will apply for a care service over this period, but who died or will die before a care package was put together and actually provided.
“No one knows how many of these older people, if any, might have lived longer had they received care in time, but at the very least their final days would probably have been more comfortable and their families and friends would have felt better supported.”
Age UK estimates that in the last 30 months older people will have made 1.72 million requests for care and support that have not been met, equivalent to 2,000 requests a day, or 78 every hour.
The charity’s election manifesto calls on every political party to propose policies to help the most vulnerable elderly people. The manifesto also highlights other issues with a big negative impact on older people, including poverty, ageism, poor housing, loneliness and ill health, and puts forward policies to enable every person over 65 to live a “dignified, secure and fulfilling later life”.
The manifesto was published as it prepared to host a General Election event in Westminster today, where representatives of the five main parties will be asked to set out their policies for the older population.
Abrahams added: “The truth is that our political system has completely failed when it comes to the reform and funding of social care and older and disabled people are being badly let down. This General Election is the latest in a long list of opportunities to put things right and we fervently hope that this time it’s different.
“Older people will be listening very carefully to what the representatives of the five political parties attending our Rally say on Thursday about their policies on social care, as will Age UK.”