Urgent Action Needed To Tackle Care Crisis, Charity Warns

Urgent action is needed to support the growing number of older people needing care, an older people’s charity has warned today.

Counsel and Care said Britain’s ageing population is experiencing a care crisis that is set to get worse as many care homes face closure and fewer older people get the help they need at home.

The charity is calling for “urgent action” from the Government to tackle the crisis when the forthcoming green paper on adult social care is published.

Speaking at the New Challenges For Care Homes conference today, Stephen Burke, chief executive of Counsel and Care, said: “Older people are facing the toughest of times. The care gap is growing as more older people can’t get the help and support they need. Now is not the time to grow old in Britain.

“The Green Paper can’t come soon enough. The country needs bold leadership in creating a care system that is simpler, fairer, transparent, consistent and flexible. Older people and their families want nothing less.

“Urgent action is also needed to address the immediate crisis. Many older people and their families need help with the costs of a care home place, rather than lose their home. Hundreds of thousands of other older people are living lonely lives without the practical support and care they need at home.

“Of course we must make much better use of public spending on care, health and housing, and we must help people to make better use of their own resources.

“But the real challenge for Government is what priority and what value does it place on old age in 21st century Britain. Will the Government rise to the challenge of our ageing society and build a country that is good to grow old in?”

The New Challenges For Care Homes is being held at the Barbican Centre, London.

Counsel and Care is a national charity working with older people, their families and carers to get the best care and support. It offers advice on issues affecting older people and carers. For more information go to www.counselandcare.org.uk.