Ageing population will doom strategy

The expected explosion in the number of older people will doom
government attempts to cut demand for residential care by investing
in prevention, it is feared.

That is the verdict of charity Friends of the Elderly, which
provides residential and community services.

Chief executive Richard Furze dismissed the adult green paper’s
key claim that moving resources now tied up in residential care to
preventive services would reduce future demand on care homes.

This is the basis for the government’s contested view that the
green paper will be cost neutral.

Furze said the forecast quadrupling of the over-85 population in
the next 50 years, with an accompanying increase in dementia, would
require more rather than fewer residential places, however much the
state invested in prevention.

He said: “We should have a debate about funding rather than
sweep it under the carpet in the belief that low-cost options are
the answer.”

Furze made the comments at a House of Lords reception to mark
the charity’s 100th birthday this week.

He also attacked the green paper’s suggestion that users be
given a right to request independent living but no right to go into
a care home.


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