NEWS:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ILC-UK responds to 2011 Census data on the oldest old published today.

David Sinclair, Assistant Director, Policy and Communications at ILC-UK, responding to the results, said:

“This new evidence reveals that 8.8% for those aged over 85 are still caring for someone. And half of these older carers are providing support for more than 50 hours a week. This demonstrates yet again how much older people are contributing to our society and economy. But it also highlights how social care obligations continue to fall on the most vulnerable. The formal care system is failing our older population.

The new findings paint a picture of significant isolation for a great deal of those aged over 85. A worrying 77% of women and 43% of men are widowed at 85, fuelling growing concerns around isolation and loneliness. ILC-UK research last year found that moving from a couple to a single household led to older people becoming three times more socially excluded. It is time for a strategy for widowhood, to focus on the needs of this group and ensure services are available at this critical time.”

Notes

The ILC-UK report ‘Is social exclusion still important for older people’ (2012) used analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing to determine what characteristics of older people were associated with social exclusion from a number of different domains of life (Social relationships; Cultural activities; Civic Activities and Information; Local Amenities; Decent Housing and Public Transport; Financial Products; Common Consumer Goods). The report found that move from living as part of a couple to living alone was associated with a threefold rise in the odds of being socially excluded from multiple domains. The report is available here: http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_details/is_social_exclusion_still_important_for_older_people

The ONS report ‘What does the 2011 Census tell us about the "oldest old" living in England & Wales?’ is available here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_342117.pdf

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