Powers To Tackle Home Care Costs

The Welsh Assembly Government wants to use new powers to make charges for care in the home fairer, BBC Wales’ Politics Show understands. People with disabilities can pay different amounts. Families in one local council area can face twice the care costs of those living in a different area.

The assembly government wants to bring in legislation to overhaul the system, but campaigners say that it will not go far enough. Malcolm Jones has a condition that affects his coordination. He needs help at home, and for the past 26 years his wife, Enid, has cared for him. But now she struggles with arthritis and cannot look after him as she did.

Mrs Jones said: “The costs of caring – not just financially, but physically, mentally and emotionally are very high and I think the powers that be don’t really understand what is involved.”

The price of care in the home is set by local authorities but the costs vary enormously and some councils are charging far more than others, in some cases twice as much. In a statement, the assembly government said it was well aware of the disparity in charging practices for non-residential care. It added that it would be using its new powers to ask that the assembly make its own legislation in this area.

But there are other issues campaigners say the assembly government must also address to ensure fair treatment for all. Some believe the system discriminates against older people.