Social care: need for and receipt of help
in Health Survey for England 2015 ,
- This chapter presents information about the need for and receipt of social care among adults aged 65 and over. Most of the chapter is based on Health Survey for England 2014 data. Where bases are too small for robust analysis, 2013 and 2014 data have been combined.
- Participants aged 65 and over were asked whether they needed help with a list of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). ADLs are activities relating to personal care and mobility about the home, and IADLs are further activities important to living independently.
- 24% of men and 33% of women aged 65 and over needed help with at least one ADL, and 21% and 34% respectively needed help with at least one IADL.
- Overall, 11% of men and 13% of women aged 65 and over had received help with at least one ADL in the last month, and 14% and 26% respectively had received help with at least one IADL.
- The need for help increased with age. 13% of men and 21% of women aged 65-69 needed help with ADLs, compared with 46% and 59% respectively aged 85 and over.
- Receipt of help, although at a lower level than need, also increased with age. 6% of men and 9% of women aged 65-69 received help with ADLs in the last month, compared with 26% of both sexes aged 85 and over.
- There was also variation according to household income, with greatest need and highest proportions receiving help in the lowest income tertile. For instance 32% of men and 36% of women in households in the lowest income tertile needed help with ADLs, compared with 10% and 27% respectively in the highest.
- Participants who reported that their general health was bad or very bad had significantly greater need for help than others in this age group (67% of men and 76% of women needed help with ADLs, compared with 8% and 9% respectively who said their health was very good). Those reporting bad health were most likely to report that they were in receipt of care (41% and 43% with bad/very bad heath received help with ADLs in the last month, 2% and 1% with very good health).
- 21% of men and 29% of women aged 65 and over had some need with at least one ADL that was not met, and 13% and 18% respectively had some unmet need with at least one IADL.
- Among people who had received help with ADLs in the last month, 82% of men and 75% of women had received this solely from unpaid helpers, including relatives, friends and neighbours. The picture was similar for IADLs.
- Help with ADLs was most frequently provided by a spouse or partner (75% for men, 46% for women), followed by daughters and sons. Help with IADLs was most frequently given by a spouse or partner for men (46%) and a daughter for women (38%).
- The majority of those receiving help with ADLs or IADLs reported having received this kind of help for a year or more (82% of men and 85% of women).
- The amount of help provided by spouses or partners varied. Around half helped for less than ten hours per week (50% for men and 56% for women), compared with around a third who provided 20 or more hours of help a week (35% for men, 31% for women). Most other helpers who provided care did so less for than ten hours per week.