Funding concerns over elderly care

Banbury Cake: Older generations could be left in limbo because the Government is failing to adequately plan for the care needed, a report claims Older generations could be left in limbo because the Government is failing to adequately plan for the care needed, a report claims

Elderly people are in danger of being stripped of their dignity and assets because of a failure to tackle how care is funded, a new survey has found.

Social care experts have warned older generations could be left in limbo because the Government is failing to adequately plan for the care needed by a rapidly ageing population.

The findings are part of a survey carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA), in which more than 80 council leaders, charity directors, directors of adult services, chief executives and social care experts took part.

Results revealed that more than four in five experts (83%) believe government plans have failed to move towards a system that provides sufficient funding.

In addition, nearly nine in 10 (88%) say the proposals do not address the funding needed to meet the demographic pressures facing the country, which the LGA estimates will add a further £2 billion to the annual care bill by 2015. This is in addition to the £1.89 billion reduction in social care budgets councils are already facing.

The timetable for reform is also called into question, with almost two in three people (62%) saying the proposed timetable does not recognise the urgency of the problem or commit to immediate action.

Council leaders are now warning that continued failure to tackle how care will be funded is leaving older people and their families facing financial uncertainty and at risk of losing their dignity.

Councillor David Rogers, chair of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said: "The current care system is in danger of collapsing. Unless we see urgent action, the growing funding crisis threatens our ability to provide basic daily services that older people rely on such as help with washing, getting out of bed, and meals on wheels."

The LGA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services also warned that councils will be forced to spend half their budgets on adult social care if local government funding does not increase.

The organisations said that if local government funding is constrained in the next spending review along the same lines as it was in the 2010 review, social care for adults will absorb 45% of council budgets by 2020.

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