Official Government figures released last week have shown a surge in reports of neglect towards the elderly, in a worrying report for the care system.
Almost 41,000 allegations of care system neglect, most relating to elderly people, have been submitted in the 12 months before publication of the report: a rise of 13%. The report, by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), included concerns from relatives, carers, neighbours and friends of vulnerable individuals.
43% of allegations involved people living at home, with 36% relating to people in care homes and 21% in community settings. While small increases were recorded in the reporting of physical or psychological abuse to social services, allegations of institutional abuse against care homes fell.
The findings highlight a severe shortage of elderly care in the UK, caused in part by successive funding cuts and exacerbated by an increasing population. Around 500,000 fewer adults now receive state support for their care than in 2010. Yet recent figures from Age UK, showing the number of elderly people requiring help with basic tasks at home now exceeds one million, prove the need for more care.
Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, said: “We hope this rise reflects higher public awareness of the need to report any concerns, but we fear it may also be connected to the progressive disintegration of social care in this country… As state funded care contracts and pressure grows on what provision there is, the risks of an older person not receiving good care are increasing.”
Fiona Lowry, our CEO, commented: “These figures show the impact that cuts to social care are having on the elderly and vulnerable in society. This highlights the need for a comprehensive and personalised approach to care in the home if we are to see a drop in such figures. We at Good Care Group know the importance of quality and trust when arranging care for your loved ones - that is why we provide live-in care, to form real relationships, and our top-quality care staff are recruited, checked, managed and fully trained on an employment basis, to ensure the care we give is always the best.”