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Scotland’s elderly are facing increasing waits for the social care they need, a new report suggests.
Age Scotland research found more than four in 10 older people requiring “substantial” or critical care last year waited more than the six weeks set down in national guidelines.
The charity said urgent action is needed to improve the situation for the elderly and reduce the impact of the delays on family members.
Its report Waiting for Care: Is Scotland meeting its commitment to older people? makes several recommendations including further efforts to attract and recruit more social care workers.
Richard Mayberry told Age Scotland his mother-in-law Dorothy, 90, waited six months to be assessed and receive funding for her care needs.
He said there was “too much red-tape” and “no clarity” during the process.
The charity said more than 6,000 older people (43%) across the 14 local authorities who responded to its Freedom of Information request waited more than six weeks for the services they required.
The average time to receive an assessment to determine social care needs was three weeks across Scotland but was higher in the Western Isles, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Midlothian, Moray and Perth and Kinross.
Previous research conducted by Age Scotland found that in 2015 the average waiting time was two-and-a-half weeks.
Those local authorities who provided reasons for delays cited service pressures such as increased demand and limited resources.