Rise in 'paupers' funerals' among elderly people
Many older people dying alone without family or friends willing or able to pay for burials and cremations, charity claims
More than 21,000 older people a year are dying alone without family or friends willing or able to pay for burials and cremations, with some regions seeing a 14% jump in the numbers of "paupers' funerals" in the last five years, foreshadowing a crisis in social care, Grey Pride campaigners for elderly people claim.
A freedom of information request by Anchor, the older people's charity, reveals that over-65s now account for 54% of all public-health funerals, with 17,000 in the north-west, 11,900 in the west midlands and over 11,000 in London taking place in the past five years.
In some areas there has been a dramatic rise in paupers' funerals, underpinned by a rising tide of poverty-stricken pensioners. The south east-has seen a 14% increase in state-funded burials and cremations since 2006 while the east midlands saw an 8% rise over the same period.