Independent care advisers in every community and proper funding of care home places must be introduced in the 2007 spending review, according to a report this week.
The policy paper by older people’s charity Counsel and Care cited a growing “care gap” between the rising number of people needing care and the falling number receiving it, citing tightening eligibility criteria on the part of councils.
Chief executive Stephen Burke said this summer’s spending review, which will set government expenditure limits from 2008 to 2011, was a “rare opportunity to address the underfunding of care”.
However, the government has strongly suggested any funding increase for adult social care would have to come from efficiency savings.
The paper recommended introducing state-sponsored equity release schemes to help older people make better use of their assets and stay in their own homes.
The report said getting a care needs assessment, accessing benefits and choosing a care home were among the top 10 issues raised by older people, their families and carers on the charity’s advice line.
● Closing the Care Gap: Getting Better Care and Support for Older People