Introduction

Spending cuts in the area of adult social care, combined with the demographic pressures of an ageing population, make focusing on unmet need increasingly important.

This project focused on unmet need for social care among older people living in their own homes. It aimed to explore:

  • The nature of unmet need for social care and the characteristics of those with unmet need (in terms of health, social circumstances, well-being and finances)
  • Prevalence of unmet need among older people
  • The factors which predict future unmet need (using longitudinal survey data)
  • The multi-directional links between unmet need and well-being.

This project had two main elements:

  1. Secondary analysis of existing data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the Health Survey for England (HSE) 2011-2013, using cross-sectional analysis and longitudinal regression analysis.
  2. In-depth narrative interviews with older people to explore pathways into social care and the links between well-being and unmet need for care.