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Church charged to do more as study shows elderly in 24-hour care set to double by 2035

by Eno Adeogun

The research, carried out by Newcastle University and the London School of Economics and Political Science also warned that adults aged 65 and over requiring 24-hour care will rise by over a third to more than one million during the next 20 years."

Andrew Wileman, assistant director of older people services for the Salvation Army, told Premier how this will impact families.


"Our family structures these days mean that many families are living a long way apart from each other," he said.

"Even a few miles can make a difference if carer or a daughter or a son is having to look after an elderly parent and they've got their own family, their own jobs, their own concerns."

The study claims there will be plenty of people living independent lives, with the number of over-65s living without care needs set to rise to 8.9 million - an increase of more than 60 per cent from 5.5 million in 2015.

They predict this increase in independence will be seen mainly in men.

John Stillwell/PA Wire

Nevertheless, they said the estimates predict a rise in the number of people living into old age with multiple long-term conditions, with the majority (80 per cent) of older adults with dementia and in need of substantial care in 2035 likely to have two or more other diseases.

They said their study highlights the importance of ensuring that health and social care services adapt to the unprecedented needs of an increasing older population with complex care needs, with the authors warning that relying on the informal carers who provide around £57 billion worth of care in the UK is not a sustainable solution.

Sharing an example of how churches can also do their part, Wileman said: "The Salvation Army Church in Poole in Dorset have just been doing a wonderful thing - 'holiday at home', last week where over 100 people came together over two days, people who perhaps can't get away for a holiday, so we bring the holiday to them.

"It's a themed event and it's an opportunity for people to come together to share friendship for a couple of days."

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