Gulf between expectations of care for older people and reality

A public survey by the Caring Choices coalition has revealed that 45 per cent of people believe the government should provide assistance to people who have moderate needs.

The poll of 2,169 people by the coalition, whose members include the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Age Concern and the King’s Fund found that just five per cent believed that only those whose life was in danger should receive help.

The findings reveal a gulf between public expectations of what the government should provide and the level of service many councils are supplying. Exclusive research by Community Care showed that almost three quarters (72 per cent) of 75 councils surveyed had set their threshold for accessing services at substantial.

Councillor David Rogers, chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Older people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Councils want to provide the services they need and help them safely through the day but are increasingly unable to do so because central government funding has not kept pace with the demands of the ageing population. This is not a situation that older people deserve or indeed expect.”

He added that there would be over 400,000 more older people requiring social care over the next three years and that there needed to be a “serious debate” about how their care needs would be funded.

Further information:

Caring Choices

Association of Directors of Adult Services

Age Concern

Kings Fund

Local Government Association

Full results of Community Care’s survey

Essential information on older people’s services

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