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Christmas sparked a big rise in calls to Age UK from older people and their families asking for advice about care homes.
During the winter, the charity witnessed a significant increase in calls to its national advice line from older people and their families - with residential care help being the top reason for calling.
12 per cent rise in calls from older people
The calls peaked during the Christmas holidays when people get together with older relatives.
Some 54,000 people phoned Age UK last winter - an eight per cent rise in calls from 2015.
The majority of the calls (nearly 37,000) came from older people themselves – amounting to a 12 per cent rise in calls, when compared to 2015.
32 per cent rise in calls from adult children
Age UK also saw a 32 per cent rise in calls to the advice line from adult children over Christmas 2016 compared to the year before.
Age UK stated: “For many, Christmas is a time for visiting older family members, which leads to an increase in calls.
"People often notice a big difference in the health or circumstances in an older relative if they haven't seen them for a while which can lead to concern.”
Age UK's advice line is a free helpline offering support for older people 365 days a year. Last winter the charity answered calls from people needing advice about paying for care, care assessments, hospital discharge and benefits checks.
The charity said its level 2 advisors, who are skilled in handling longer, complex enquiries, most frequently answer questions on residential care, paying for nursing care, and arranging care assessments.”
The top five reasons people called the Age UK advice line over winter were:
1. Residential care
2. Health and disability
3. Legal advice
4. Non-residential care
5. Money benefits