Charities have slammed “appalling” and “wholly unacceptable” cuts to social care services, which they claim have left almost 12,500 blind and partially sighted older people without the vital support they desperately need.
A joint report by Age UK and RNIB found that social care services for visually impaired older people have been slashed by a “shocking” 36.5% between 2008/09 and 2012/13.
The report – Improving later life for people with sight loss – recognises that social care has been cut for all disabled adults, but warns that visually impaired older people have been disproportionately affected by cuts to community based services.
The charities say that approximately 12,415 people have missed out on vital social care services, such as help getting out of bed, cooking, cleaning, getting washed and dressed and receiving help with eating.
However, the charities warn that this figure could be just the tip of the iceberg. The unmet care needs to older people with sight loss is likely to be even higher, they say.
Failure to meet the care needs of blind and partially sighted older people could result in “considerable consequences” for those affected, the charities warn.
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