Councils have restricted access and increased charges for older people’s care over the past year, older people’s charity Counsel and Care said today.
A poll of 26 councils published by Counsel and Care found that since a similar survey last year, 15% of local authorities had increased thresholds for care services, and none had reduced thresholds. Average weekly home care charges had also risen by 12.5%.
Just 16% of councils provided care for people deemed to have moderate needs – a position which can apply to people who cannot carry out several personal care or domestic tasks.
The poll found the trends meant more and more older people were having to rely on over-stretched charities and loved-ones to meet their care needs, with publicly-funded care reserved for the most frail.
Stephen Burke, chief executive of the charity – who also blogs for Community Care – said there was was an urgent need to invest in preventive, lower-level services.
The Local Government Association said the results should provide a “wake-up call” for the government over the need to increase investment in adult social care.
The LGA’s community well-being board chair David Rogers said: “A lack of funding means councils have been placed in the invidious position of withdrawing some services or increasing charges because they have been forced to concentrate resources on people with the most severe needs. This is not a situation that older people deserve or indeed expect.”
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Essential information on older people
Stephen Burke’s Blog
Counsel and Care
Local Government Association