Headlines: May 1st, 2009

A charity that works with older people and their families to get the best care and support has called for urgent action to support the growing number of older people who need care. The charity, Counsel and Care, said there was a care crisis that would get worse with homes facing closure and fewer elderly people getting the help they needed at home.

It is urging the Government to take action to deal with the crisis when it publishes its Green Paper on adult social care. Stephen Burke, chief executive of Counsel and Care, said the Green paper could not come soon enough. “Older people are facing the toughest of times. The care gap is growing as more older people can’t get the help and support they need. Now is not the time to grow old in Britain,” he warned.

Mr. Burke said the country needed bold leadership to create a simpler, fairer, transparent care system that was consistent and flexible. He accepted the need to make better use of public spending on care, health and housing but said it was also important to help people make better use of their own resources.

He added: “The real challenge for Government is what priority and what value does it place on old age in 21st century Britain. Will the Government rise to the challenge of our ageing society and build a country that is good to grow old in?”

Following its call for action the charity produced a series of 64 updated guides and factsheets to help older people, their families and carers to understand their rights and entitlements in the midst of what it called a confusing and ever-changing care system.