Help from social services

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The number of clients aged 65 and over receiving home care from their local authority almost halved between 1994 and 2001.  Since then, however, the numbers being helped have remained fairly steady.
  • The decline in the numbers helped was because available resources have been 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 have been available for more social-oriented support for less dependent people.

Definitions and data sources

The graph shows the number of people aged 65 and over receiving home care provided by local authorities at the end of March in each stated year.  Home care services are practical services which assist the client to function as independently as possible and/or continue to live in their own homes, e.g. routine household tasks within or outside the home, personal care of the client, shopping, etc.

The data source for the graph is SSDA303 data collections (1994 and 1995), AS2 data collections (1997 to 2001) and PM2 data collections (2002 onwards), with the more recent data being obtained via StatsWales.  The data for 1997 onwards is a direct count of people receiving home care at the end of the year.  The data for 1994 and 1995 is estimated from a  count of the number of cases of home help to households during the year multiplied by the average ratio between home care clients and home help cases during the year in the period 1997 to 2001.  Statistics for 1996 are not available so have been estimated as the average of the 1995 and 1997 figures.  These methods of estimation have been developed in consultation with the Health Statistics and Analysis Unit of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The underlying data is considered reliable.  However, the selection of the data presented is largely driven by what is available rather than what would be ideally analysed.