A study has found an extra 71,000 care home spaces are needed in the next eight years to cope with Britain’s increased demand, as people are living longer and face more health problems.

Estimated research predicts there will be an extra 353,000 older people with more complex needs by 2025, which will increase the amounts of beds required by tens of thousands.

Findings published in the Lancet medical journal revealed many people over the age of 65 are living longer, but are in need of more substantial care.

Professor Carol Jagger, from Newcastle University, said: “The past 20 years have seen continued gains in life expectancy but not all of these years have been healthy[…] this finding, along with increased number of older adults with higher rates of illness and disability, is contributing to the current social care crisis.”

Margaret Willcox, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “Unless a long term sustainable solution is established to tackle significant sector pressures more people will struggle to receive personal, dignified care.”

In 1991, 73.5% of adults aged 85 and needed 24 hour care were living in a care home, compared with about half the amount in 2011.

Neil Tester, deputy director of Healthwatch England, said the figures didn’t come as surprise and show the “stark reality we all now face.”

He also added: “At Healthwatch we know from what people tell us every day that the care sector is already in a fragile state, and it is clear these daunting challenges aren’t going away. As a country we have some really big questions to face about how we plan to fund care.”


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