Headlines: October 23rd, 2009

A national charity working with older people and their carers has joined forces with the professional association for those working in homecare to call for a major shift to bring care practice into line with Government policy that suggests that more older people should be cared for in their own homes.

Counsel and Care and Ceretas are also calling for fair charging and more time for care workers to carry out their duties. They have set out their vision for homecare in ‘The Future of Homecare: responding to older people’s needs’, which has been drawn up in consultation with experts in the field. The paper argues that policy and practice are still out of line and that rhetoric about keeping older people at home for longer is not matched by the tightening eligibility criteria and rising charges that have left more older people unable to get the care they need.

The paper’s author, Caroline Bernard, who is Policy and Communications Manager at Counsel and Care, said: “Whilst we welcome the current Government’s plans to address the homecare needs of those deemed to be critical, there is still concern about how homecare can become part of the prevention agenda mooted in the current green paper.”

The paper urges the Government, and those commissioning and providing care to listen to older people who say they want flexible, high quality responsive services and to include unpaid carers in the care debate. The two organizations also want a review of homecare charging to be a priority.