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Older people without children fear growing old alone

28th July 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Following the recent challenge from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for people to take responsibility for older relatives, those without children have been brought to attention. A third of the UK’s population is now made up of people over the age of 50, with one in five of those expected to age without children.

Many older people without relatives are concerned that they will not have anyone to rely on to help them make decisions with situations ranging from arranging home adaptations such as walk-in baths to speaking up for their best interests if they are admitted to hospital. A charity called Ageing Without Children conducted a survey of 400 people earlier this year, and found that this was the biggest fear of 28 per cent of those questioned.

More needs to be done for older people ageing without children

Reports have estimated that by 2030 there will be over two million people over the age of 65 without adult children, which is an added problem for the state. Age UK recently highlighted the problems with social care and the reduction in funding that is provided for older people, which is set to continue with a further £1.1 billion removed from these budgets.

This reduction is expected to be made by the government in the hopes that families take up the slack. Hunt suggested that if parents start taking care of their parents, it will set a good example to grandchildren, who will be more likely to return the favour in the future. However, those without children to rely on may not have anyone to call in an emergency, and could end up being lonely in their later life.

In order for this to be prevented, Ageing Without Children is launching a seven-step campaign, which highlights the areas that need to be improved to make the UK a place where older people can age without children.

Image Credit: Alyssa L. Miller (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.