Adult social care: providing help, care and protection from harm for adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or physical and mental illnesses. At its most basic, this can include help with washing, dressing, getting out of bed in the morning, help taking medicine, and help with the housework.
Social care is becoming more and more important as our population gets older. The number of over 85s in England has gone up by over a third in the last 10 years, and will more than double in the next 20.
Local government has the main responsibility when it comes to publicly funded social care.
So what do councils do? They provide information and advice, they assess and monitor your needs and finances, they provide short-term support called reablement, they safeguard vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect, and they buy and monitor care from a large range of organisations.
With more people living into older age, this means there will be more frail people and more people living with long-term illnesses. In turn this means that there will be more people with needs for care and support.
The number of people receiving formal care from the state has actually reduced over the past six years, despite this increase in need.
Our research shows that the social care system as it stands is struggling to meet the needs of older and disabled people.