English Care Home Population Increases To 372,000
With an ageing population, there are more people than ever in England who need care in later life. But there is more than one way this can be provided.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that the number of residents of care homes between March 1st 2022 and the end of February this year in England rose by 3.1 per cent from 360,792 to 372,035.
There was a corresponding increase in bed occupancy from 77.8 per cent to 80.5 per cent, although data from the Quality Care Commission showed the number of available beds was down slightly year-on-year from 463,765 to 461,958.
While 372,000 people may make use of care homes, many prefer not to and high-quality home care services in Watford provide an alternative option, one that enables people to stay in homes they may have lived in for many years and feel comfortable in, offering a chance to retain much of the lifestyle they are used to.
Overall, 37 per cent of residents were partly or fully self-funding their care, although this figure was subject to regional variations; the figure rose to 47 per cent in the south-east but was just 26 per cent in the north-east. Watford was fractionally above average at 37.1 per cent.
By local authority, Hart in Hampshire had the most self-funders at 72 per cent, but of the 54 local authority areas where over half self-funded care, only one (Bromley) was in London and York was the only one in the north.
While lifestyle is one reason for choosing care at home, another may be that the quality of residential care homes available in the area is not what one might want.
A Freedom of Information request made by the Liberal Democrats has found there are 94 buildings across 46 local authorities in England that were designated care homes but are no longer being used as such. While some were deemed no longer fit for purpose, others are empty, undergoing refurbishment, or being used for other purposes, such as offices.