Freedom of Information requests from 121 councils showed that, in the last year, 59,056 received council-funded care. This figure then compares to the 66,342 people who had help in 2009-10. Early figures given to Labour for 2012-13 suggest it’s a downward trend that’s set to accelerate.
This is despite the ever-increasing number of people living in the UK aged 65 or over, and the government have said that they are going to look at these figures after pressure from campaigners.
It’s clear that these figures are down to the budget squeezes imposed in government cuts, with many care homes now greatly tightening their criteria for receiving help: in some cases, only those with the most severe care needs are being admitted.
As it stands, only those with assets of below £14,250 are being given the help they need for free.
Richard Humphries of think-tank the Kings Fund told the BBC, "We have known for some time that although we face a burgeoning rise in numbers of older and younger people with disabilities that need care, the amount of resources that this government and the previous one have put in, has not kept pace with that.
"Fewer people are actually getting the care they that they need and those that are and having to pay more for it.”
Minister for Care Services Paul Burstow has promised that a white paper on social reform will be prepared as soon as possible.