State care homes for the elderly could become overloaded in the years to come.
Research from a team at Newcastle University found that, in spite of the low percentage of elderly people in need of care, the UK's state-funded care homes will find it difficult to house everyone in need in the years to come.
According to the study, 39 per cent of people aged 85 and over are in need of assistance every now and again.
A further 41 per cent were shown to be entirely capable of looking after themselves, leaving just 20 per cent of the elderly population in need of daily care.
However, with the number of people aged over 80 expected to rise from 2.6 million to 4.8 million by 2030, the burden on the healthcare system will be substantial.
Indeed, an increase in demand for care home spaces of 82 per cent is predicted to occur over the next couple of decades.
Professor John Bond, from the university, commented: "We have found that 80 per cent of people in this age group need little or no care which is great news.
"But on the other hand there needs to be some major investment to ensure that those who need help can access the care they need."
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Care of the elderly news : 12 May 2011