The Current Situation With the UK’s Social Care System For the Elderly
When it comes to long term care for the elderly, the UK government continues to be publicly criticised by the media for not having determined a way forward in this controversial and difficult to solve social area.
Funding long term care for the elderly continues to be an issue as the government has not taken a stand on how it can be addressed in a reasonable way. With costs continuing to rise and the government still looking for a way to make cuts, it seems that the issue will take a long time to improve.
The government commissioned report published by Andrew Dilnot in July 2011 recommended that fees paid by individuals should be capped at a total of £35,000 but the government is now set to cap fees at £75,000 in 2017. This means that the state would then need to pay any outstanding monies above this figure to cover long term care whether it’s in a care home or a nursing home. Local authorities and councils are already hard strapped for cash as the economy has not returned to the strength it had prior to the recession.
Social care funding underwent a cut as soon as the coalition government took over as part of a cost cutting drive to help the British economy. Unfortunately, specialist care and support can be very expensive, and elderly people are not getting what they need due to this cut.
A promised £2bn for councils to support the needs of the elderly has now not materialised. In fact, according to the Guardian newspaper, a cut of £2.7bn has occurred since 2010 with an April 2013 survey of councils recognising that conditions for the elderly were worsening. Meals on wheels and other home support care including washing and eating has been affected.
The elderly population is increasing in the UK and without extra funding, the system is not providing care at a level that is adequate. Unfortunately a major care home company, Southern Cross, which had over 730 care homes within the UK for the elderly had to close its doors due to not being able to meet its expenses.
The elderly, their families and those who care for them are suffering from hardship due to the financial restrictions that councils are facing. Those in critical need are having some of their requirements met, but some elderly people are having to stay in hospitals due to not having the funds for a care home stay. This costs the state and the NHS more money and strain.
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