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The quality of care in old age is the biggest fear people in their 50s and 60s have about growing old, a poll has found.

This came ahead of concerns such as NHS treatment and pensions, the charity Age UK found.

Seven out of 10 people approaching retirement said they did not feel confident that older people receiving care services are treated with dignity and respect

Age UK has estimated that 13.7 million people aged 50 and over – 63% of those interviewed – think the government treats older people badly. When asked what makes them think that, 74% cited poor standards of care.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said funding for social care has failed and is still failing to keep up with ever increasing demand.

“The government deserves credit for bringing forward long overdue reforms to the social care system that could make a real difference if properly implemented, but we are worried that the social care ‘coat’ being designed for 2016 is being cut to the inadequate ‘cloth’ that the Treasury is allocating . A great new system on paper is pointless unless there is sufficient funding in place,” she said.

A report by the charity warns that a lack of public awareness of the planned overhaul of the care system could mislead many people into believing that they no longer have to plan for their old age.

The study urges the government to reconsider plans to limit a scheme designed to prevent anyone having to sell their property while they are still alive to pay for care.

From 2016 there will be a cap of £72,000 on the amount that anyone should have to spend on care in their own lives, but only those deemed frail enough will be eligible.

HEALTH INSURANCE DAILY Dec 4 2013 UK publication.