Two thousand older people are having their requests for care turned down every day, according to Age UK.
New analysis by the charity reveals that 700,000 requests for care and support by elderly people were rejected last year.
This is equivalent to 2,000 claims from older people being unsuccessful each day, or 80 every hour, according to the research, which is based on 2018/19 data from NHS Digital.
Nearly a quarter requests for help (23%) failed because councils found people ineligible for support, the research found, while almost half of all requests (46%) were found ineligible and referred onto other services.
Age UK said the shocking figures reflected a “shrunken social care system” where spending has fallen by £86m in real terms between 2010/11 and 2018/19.
Charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “The fact that 2,000 older people are being turned down for care every day demonstrates both the enormous numbers impacted by our ramshackle care system, and how serious the problems it faces have now become. We don’t know what happens to these older people whose applications are rejected but inevitably some have no choice but to struggle on alone.”
Age UK has previously revealed that 1.5m elderly people in England have unmet care needs.
Abrahams added: “The Prime Minister has promised to fix social care and our new report shows why it’s so vital for our older population that he keeps his word. For some, tragically, it is already too late.”