Government guidance for councils to improve efficiency in adult social care by cutting residential care use has been branded as “ignoring reality” by Action on Elder Abuse and the English Community Care Association.
In a joint statement, the adult protection charity and the care provider umbrella body said the use of residential care should be based on assessments of individuals’ needs, not the need to make efficiency savings.
AEA chief executive Gary FitzGerald said: “We need to strongly challenge the argument that residential care is never a positive choice and that older people always want to live in their own homes. For many older people, living at home can be an isolating, depressing and worrying experience.”
Abuse at home
He added: “With all the evidence indicating that older people are most at risk of abuse living in their own homes, it is surely time for a more sophisticated approach to this whole issue.”
Last week the Department of Health released a report stating that the best way for councils to make efficiency savings in adult social care was to reduce use of residential care, citing wide variations in current use.
The guide urged councils to make better use of intermediate care and telecare to save money on residential care budgets.
And in an interview with Community Care, care services minister Phil Hope cited the guidance as showing how councils could raise the £250m in annual efficiencies needed to implement the government’s policy of introducing free personal care at home for people with critical needs.