Help from social services

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The number of older people receiving home care fell by a third between 1996 and 2002, from 81,000 to 54,000.  Since then, the number being helped has remained fairly steady.
  • The decline in the numbers helped was because available resources were increasingly focussed on those deemed most in need rather than because the total amount of resources in decreasing.  In effect, a by-product of the policy of helping highly dependent people in the community rather than providing them with residential care is that fewer resources became available for more social-oriented support for less dependent people.
  • Some authorities provide home care to many fewer numbers of older people than others.  For example, Argyll & Bute and Perth & Kinross provide home care to less than a half as many older people as West Dunbartonshire.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the number of people aged 65 and over receiving home care from their local authority.  The data is expressed per 1,000 population aged 65 and over.  From 1998 onwards, the data is shown separately for those receiving 10 hours or more of help per week and those receiving less than 10 hours per week (this division is not available for the earlier years).

The second graph and map show how the proportion of people aged 65 and over receiving home care varies by local authority.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average over the latest three years.

The data source for both graphs is the Community Care Statistics of the Scottish Government (the data is not publicly available).

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The underlying data has been collected for a number of years and can be considered reliable.  However, the data is difficult to interpret as the number of people receiving home care depends on the local authority policies on how to ration available resources between those most in need of help and those less in need as well as on the scale of the available resources.