Elderly people in Britain face "a bleak 2011" as they are expected to feel the impact of planned spending cuts, according to a report.
Charity Age UK's annual report highlights how the austerity measures will hit "vulnerable older people badly".
The report, Agenda for Later Life, says that efforts made to protect NHS spending, preserve universal benefits and limit social care cuts will not prevent hardship for older people.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age UK, said: "Sadly, in 2011 prospects look bleak.
"The Comprehensive Spending Review announced spending cuts on an unprecedented scale and we now see local cuts hitting vulnerable older people badly.
"We want to see the Government take a leadership role in encouraging private sector and communities to start to think around this challenge for the future."
Although those living in care homes might be protected from the blunt side of the cuts, the report warns that they will still be hit because the elderly are the heaviest users of public services.
Naming the proposed changes to the NHS as a key reform, the report questions whether the proposals will improve care for older people and calls for greater focus on the commissioning and quality of services.
The publication sets out 12 challenges that the Government faces as the UK's ageing population increases.
These include creating "a savings and pensions culture", engaging those in later life with new technology, extending working lives and building communities that can tackle isolation.