Many pensioners have not planned ahead to meet the cost of long-term care, new research has shown.
According to a survey by GE Life, nearly 80 per cent of pensioners have not fully planned how they will meet the cost of long-term care if they become unable to look after themselves.
Currently, there are three million people in the UK spending at least some of their final years being cared for either as a care home resident or by carers visiting them at home.
However, the figure is set to rise as the population ages and families may find themselves unable to meet the costs of caring for elderly and longer living relatives.
"With the increase in life expectancy, more pensioners than ever are finding that they have a financial shortfall in retirement," Scott Dolfi, chief executive of GE Life, told the Financial Times.
"Not only are they having to work longer, they are also faced with being unable to afford the proper care should they become too ill to look after themselves.
"Furthermore, a spouse who may have struggled to pay for their partner's care may then end up in state funded care themselves or living an uncomfortable retirement."
Many of those who were questioned, however, had made no financial provision for such an eventuality.
Of those surveyed about how they would pay for care, only 36 per cent said that they would use their savings, with 28 per cent planning to rely on the state, 20 per cent having no idea whatsoever and six per cent trusting that their family would pay.
According to a report by Catalyst, the number of people over 64 is expected to grow from 9.5 million to 15 million by 2040.