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Predicting unmet social care needs & links with well-being

Findings from the secondary analysis

Holding hands
Researchers: Allison Dunatchik
Published: December 2016


The focus of this research is on understanding the nature and prevalence of unmet social care needs, its causes and what links there are, if any, with well-being.

You can download the full report or read a summary of our findings below. A technical report is also available.

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.


  • This widespread level of need indicates the impacts of pressures on the social care system, and affect those eligible for local authority financial support as well as self-funders
  • Those in their 50s and 60s, living alone or experiencing widowhood are most likely to have future care needs that are not met
  • There are no clear links between unmet need and wellbeing, perhaps because receiving care has both positive and negative impacts on wellbeing.


The project involved two stages: secondary analysis of HSE and ELSA data, and in-depth narrative interviews with older people. This report presents the findings from the secondary analysis.

Download the report

Download the technical report