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The prevalence and dynamics of social care receipt George Stoye

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Receipt

Receipt of Social Care in 2014–15 Hours of formal care received are relatively low. Only 36% of those who report receiving formal care in the last month received 5 or more hours of formal care in the last week. This is equivalent to 5% of those reporting any difficulties with daily activities or 3% of all individuals aged 65 and over. A relatively small proportion of the population is exposed to domestic social care costs at a given point in time. Just 2% of individuals were paying for home care workers or contributing to the cost of care arranged by the local authority in 2014–15. We start by describing social care receipt among the older population using the most recent data available – those collected by the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) between Summer 2014 and Summer 2015. We focus on the population aged 65 and over, for whom ELSA contains a sample of over 5,000 individuals. However, it is important to note that ELSA is a representative survey of the private household population of England, and does not include in its core sample individuals in communal establishments such as residential or nursing homes. 3 The ELSA data are described in more detail in Appendix A. 2.1 Receipt of assistance with daily activities Individuals who are surveyed in ELSA are asked whether they have difficulty with a number of everyday activities. These activities, the prevalence of reported difficulties, and the characteristics of individuals who report having such difficulties are described in Appendix B. Those who report having difficulty with at least one daily activity are asked whether they received help from anyone in the last month (even if they do not normally need help) and, if so, who helped them. Figure 2.1 shows the percentage of individuals aged 65 years and over who report receiving assistance. Just over a quarter (26%) report receiving any help. Over a fifth (23%) report receiving help from an ‘informal provider’ (a partner, relative, friend or neighbour), while 9% report receiving help from a ‘formal provider’ (for example, a home care worker, voluntary helper, sheltered housing warden, cleaner, council handyman or a member of staff at a residential institution); 6% of individuals report receiving help from both informal and formal sources. Figure 2.1 also illustrates the percentage of individuals reporting receiving help for six activity categories: mobility (walking 100 yards, walking across a room, climbing a single or multiple flights of stairs, getting into or out of bed, using the toilet), washing (bathing or showering, getting dressed), eating (including cutting up food), housework (shopping 3 According to the Census in 2011, 3.4% of the English population aged 65 and over lived in a communal establishment. © Institute for Fiscal Studies 9

The Prevalence and Dynamics of Social Care Receipt Figure 2.1. Receipt of assistance in the last month, by activity category Any help Informal help only Formal help only Formal and informal help All Assistance with: Mobility Washing Eating Housework/shopping Taking medication Managing money 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Percentage of individuals aged 65+ who receive assistance Note: Informal care is defined as care provided by a partner, relative, neighbour, friend or other unqualified individual. Formal care is provided by health or social workers, personal assistants, home helpers, sheltered housing wardens, members of reablement staff, voluntary helpers, council handymen and cleaners. Source: Authors’ calculations using ELSA 2014–15. Figure 2.2. Receipt of assistance among those who report difficulty, by activity category No assistance Informal help only Formal and informal help Formal help only Mobility Washing Eating Housework/shopping Taking medication Managing money 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percentage of those reporting difficulty who receive assistance Note: For each bar, the sample of individuals is those who report difficulty with that particular activity category. Informal care is defined as care provided by a partner, relative, neighbour, friend or other unqualified individual. Formal care is provided by health or social workers, personal assistants, home helpers, sheltered housing wardens, members of reablement staff, voluntary helpers, council handymen and cleaners. Source: Authors’ calculations using ELSA 2014–15. 10 © Institute for Fiscal Studies

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