Council Care – Maybe A New Model is Needed.
New figures suggest that a growing number of elderly people are turning to alternative care resources rather than council funded care. Which is for most folk a total misnomer – if you have more that £14,250 in the world, the Council are likely to extract the money from you somehow.
According to the Labour party, the total number of people using council-funded elderly care has fallen by 11% in the last two years. Council and other Care is getting so expensive that families are making their own arrangements. The decline in council-funded elderly care comes despite the rise in the ageing population overall. The number of over adults aged 65 or over within the UK is steadily growing as people are living for longer.
The data, which comes from the Freedom of Information responses of 121 councils, shows that free care provided to the elderly has fallen from 66,342 to 59,056 between 2009 and 2010.
Public sector spending cuts to council funding make it harder for councils to provide enough care for the ageing population, despite their legal obligation to do so. Growing pressures on staff, budgets and facilities must mean some impact on standards.
A number of councils have had to seriously tighten their criteria, giving priority to those with the most severe needs ahead others. More are trying much harder to recover fees from those in care or their families.
The fall in figures could be heavily influenced by this. Only those with assets below £14,250 receive full funding for their care, those who have to pay for it will face rising fees. And full funding won’t necessarily mean paying the full fees of any home that you might wish to live in: there are strict limits to what each Council will pay.
The average Council fee for home care was £13.61 per hour and that a growing number of councils are reducing the amount of help available in recent years.
The cost of care continues to increase faster than the rate of inflation, as does the number struggling to stump up the cash for much needed care.
Councillor David Rogers, of the Local Government Association, agrees that “urgent reform of how care is provided to our rapidly ageing population” is essential, otherwise the situation is “going to get much worse”.
So the conversations have gone on for very nearly a quarter of a century and still nothing has been done, so don’t hold your breath if you thing any reform which will help families will happen in your lifetime!!