Tag Archives: Home and Care

‘He told me he supported the Care Bill – it was really worthwhile meeting with him’

Campaigner Bob

Campaigner Bob

Since October, Age UK has been encouraging people to meet with their MP. With the Care Bill expected to be debated in the House of Commons in the near future, it is imperative that MPs understand how the current crisis in social care is affecting older people and their families. There is no better way than for those with first-hand experience to share their stories with those who will represent them in the debates.

One such campaigner was Bob who lives in London. He gave his account of how he went about lobbying his MP about the Care Bill:

‘For me, social care is a really important issue. Having helped care for both my own parents and my in-laws, I can see how valuable a bit of support can be. My late father-in-law received a care package in the last few months of his life. Even though it was only for a short time, it brought him and my mother-in-law a new lease of life. But it was difficult getting it in place and my mother-in-law still is not receiving the help she needs – it should be universally available. Continue reading

Tackling the future funding of social care

Age UK has responded to a Department of Health consultation on the future funding of social care. This marks the latest stage in the long march to reform how we pay for care. The ‘Dilnot’ Commission on long term care funding recommended a new system whereby the amount that individuals would be expected to pay towards their care needs would be capped. The government has announced that it will implement a modified version of these recommendations. However there are still many unanswered questions about the new system and concern about its complexity.

The proposals are based on a new national system of eligibility for local authority care. The only spending by an individual that will count towards the 440px_older_carers_handscap is that required to meet needs which fall within these criteria – currently set at ‘substantial’ . If the criteria are too restrictive people might have spent large amounts before their outlay even starts to count towards the cap. Age UK has therefore argued that eligibility for local authority care should include people with what would currently be defined as moderate needs. Continue reading

Who cares about Jenny and James?

Jenny is 64 and her husband James is 74. James has dementia and is cared for by Jenny, who has put a lot of effort into getting an appropriate care package put in place.

In this short video, Jenny explains the challenges she’s experienced in trying to arrange care for James.

Find out more about Age UK’s campaign for better care at www.ageuk.org.uk/careincrisis

Making it easier to manage direct payments

This blog was contributed by Barbara Limon, Policy Programme Manager – Consumer and Community. 

Increasingly older people who are in receipt of funded social care are choosing to take this funding as direct payments, meaning they control the funds themselves.  Whilst there are advantages of being in control in this way we’ve found that the process of managing the cash could be made easier for older people.

direct paymentsIn our report ‘Direct payments for social care – options for managing the cash we look at what some the issues are and have identified potential solutions.  The report covers both the ‘traditional’ method of managing direct payments, via bank accounts, and at newer methods using prepaid cards.

Most of the problems we found are not new – they are simply the day to day difficulties which many older people experience in managing their money and paying for things.  Solving the problems highlighted in the report would also solve many of the on-going difficulties older people have in relation to financial services. For example, Chip and PIN card technology has generally been considered a success, but the need to remember and type in a PIN can act as a barrier to independent use of payments. Continue reading