Thursday, 18 October 2012

Elderly care doesn’t have to break the bank

Less than £30 a week to keep pensioners at home.

For less than £30 a week vulnerable elderly people could stay in their own homes for longer.
That’s according to Samantha Acton of Domestic Angels, the Southbourne-based home help service, reacting to health minister Norman Lamb’s announcement that families should take greater responsibility for the care of elderly relatives.

“In an ideal world we’d all love to take care of our elderly loved ones, but Mr Lamb should realise it’s not as easy as that – most of us have to work and pay taxes,” says Samantha, reacting to comments made by Mr Lamb in an interview with the BBC’s Inside Out programme.

“The trouble is that families don’t necessarily live close together and it’s the regular contact that is just as important to older people as having someone to call in an emergency.”
The minister said the government had taken £7.2bn from health to help local councils provide social care.

“It is the preferred – and cheaper – option that elderly people stay in their own homes for as long as possible and there are always issues about who is going to pay for things, but having someone come in for just two hours a week would cost less than £30.

“It would mean that vulnerable adults have regular contact, it means their home is kept clean, it can even mean they get some shopping brought in. These are all things that help protect their general health and well-being, keeping them out of the doctor’s surgery.

“How much does it cost a GP to see an elderly person? How much does it cost to provide institutional care for the elderly? A lot more than the £30 a week it would cost to provide effective home help.”