The prevalence and dynamics of social care receipt.

Document type
Crawford, Rowena; Stoye, George.
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
1 February 2017
Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Disabled people
Social welfare
Material type

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This report describes the long-term care needs of the growing older population as increasingly important issues for policy-makers and society as a whole. It uses new data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing – a panel survey representative of the household population aged 50 and over in England with respondents being re-interviewed biennially – to examine the prevalence of social care and the changes to the needs and care receipt of individuals across time and between different birth cohorts. The authors find that:

  • a quarter of the population aged 65 and over received some form of assistance in 2014–15;
  • the majority of assistance was given by informal providers., and 
  • many individuals with specific difficulties did not receive help, and this varied considerably across activities.

They note that life expectancy is increasing across birth cohorts, particularly for men, and consider the implications of this and other social trends for care needs in the future. They conclude that reduced needs across cohorts will do little to offset increased demand for care due to an increasing older population, and analyse the type of care likely to be needed and sources of funding for it.

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