Unmet needs for support to maintain independence in later life

Full title: Factors associated with unmet need for support to maintain independence in later life: a mixed methods systematic review

One and a half million people aged 65 and over in the UK are estimated to have an unmet need for support that enables them to live independently in the community.

Help with essential activities like washing, or necessary tasks such as cooking and managing medication, is critical to older people’s health, safety and independence.

Aims

This review aims to understand the factors associated with unmet need for support to maintain independence in later life, by synthesising the evidence and addressing two questions:

  1. Which factors are associated with unmet need for support to maintain independence in later life?
  2. Which groups of older people are at greatest risk of having an unmet need for support to maintain independence?

Research methods

The review questions will be answered using two sources of evidence:

  • primary quantitative studies that report evidence about risk factors for unmet need for support and
  • primary qualitative studies about ageing and care needs.

To supplement this work and inform future primary studies on this topic, we will also review existing UK ageing cohort studies to identify which provide data about unmet need for support to maintain independence.

We will invite public and stakeholder involvement at various stages of the review by working with a dedicated panel of advisors, as well as through our partner networks such as VOICE.

Policy relevance

Our project will contribute to the understanding of social patterns of unmet needs.

This will enable policymakers to promote equal ageing and equitable access to care.

Delivery timeline

April 2021 to January 2022

 

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