- Sarah Whitebloom
Same old, same old. Has the care industry got no shame?....No.
Does a week go by without an item on Radio 4's Today Programme about how we can't afford the highly-expensive elderly? Either it is the care home industry, looking for more money or some politician/expert saying older people have got loads of money and are sponging off the working population. Today, we had both.
Make no mistake, the care industry frequently fails to provide decent care at any price. Older people can pay as much as £1,400 a week for their own care but often receive appalling treatment from rapacious care providers - even in entirely self-funding homes, where there is no question of cross-subsidising Council-funded residents.
Profit not care is the target of the big providers. Yet we are treated to their regular claims that the system is in crisis because the piles of public money shoved in their direction are not a sufficiently large. If the care industry were providing a better standard of care to those who can and do pay for it, this might not be so laughable.
Have they no shame?....No.
Just three days after we heard that Sussex Police are investigating the deaths of 12 former residents of a private care group, the care industry is pleading poverty.
Meanwhile, experts and politicians tell us that older people must pay towards their care. What planet are these people living on? It seems unlikely they have ever applied for care funding because the reality is that all but the poorest older people are already paying for their own care. The only people who receive funding are our poorest pensioners. It is a total myth to claim that numerous owners of £2 million houses are living high on the hog in publicly-funded retirement homes or at home.
1. Older people would have to have resources of less than £15,000 to receive funding for care. It is highly unlikely that most owners of £2 million houses have less than that.
2. What you get as a publicly-funded care recipient is not great and many poor elderly people pay out of their own meagre resources to get a better standard of care or go without altogether.
3. You cannot just take the money out of people's houses. What about other people who may be living there, including potentially an elderly spouse. Are they just to be turned out onto the street?
When are we going to start a conversation about tackling the root causes of the care 'crisis' and reintegrate older people into society? See OLM's rant here.