Age UK has today unveiled a score card for social care, turning the spotlight onto the topic of our time, funding for the quality of care older people have a basic human right to receive.
The charity’s score card points to a harsh reality of the funding landscape: despite rising demand from growing numbers of people in need of support, the amount spent on social care services for older people has fallen nationally by £1.1 billion since 2010/11 and by a total of £1.4 billion since 2005/06.
The year 2005 is symbolic, it’s the year I experienced poor quality care for my grandfather Frank, care that simply wasn’t good enough for my loved one and not for anyone else’s loved ones either.
That was the critical incentive to establishing Home Instead Senior Care, to help change a broken care system. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved here at Home Instead, care and companionship delivered with visits that last a minimum of one hour.
But what hasn’t changed? Funding for care wasn’t good enough in 2005 and it’s not good enough now – frighteningly we’re a decade on.
Age UK’s score card states the stark reality - each and every day hundreds of thousands of older people are left to battle on alone. Their headlines paint a picture of age that no-one should experience:
- Older people struggling to wash/get in the bath not receiving any help.
- Older people finding it hard to get out of bed on their own not receiving any help
- Older people finding it hard to eat on their own not receiving any help
- Older people finding it difficult to get dressed not receiving any help
What’s the solution? Where’s the money going to come from? Big questions that cannot go unanswered by Central Government for another decade.
I believe the solution lies in the better amalgamation of health and social care.
With an increasingly ageing population we need to stop focusing on a cure (which often doesn't exist) and instead find the way to fund care for some of the most vulnerable people in our country.
Trevor Brocklebank, Chief Executive, Home Instead Senior Care.