As the debate over the future of social care in England intensifies, a YouGov poll has shown that more than four out of five (81%) of English adults believe that the Government is not doing enough to meet the care and support needs of vulnerable older people.
And over three-quarters (78%) said that the Government could do more generally for older people. Over half (58%) disagreed that as a country England looks after its older people properly.
The YouGov poll carried out on behalf of Age UK questioned 1,726 English adults.
The social care system which helps provide support to older and disabled people with essential day to day tasks such as getting out of bed, washing and providing meals is on the verge of collapse. Too many people who need help from the system either receive no help at all or inadequate provision. Age UK has launched a campaign call on the Government to implement urgent reform of the system to ensure a fair and sustainable future.
At the moment those with more than £23,250 in savings have to pay all the costs of the social care they need. If an older person can no longer live at home and needs residential care then the value of their house is taken into consideration and many are forced to sell their home to pay for care. Age UK supports the recommendation of the Dilnot Commission which included a proposed lifetime cap on the amount of money that an individual would have to pay towards their care. This, Age UK believes, would help older people plan ahead. It may also encourage more provision of financial services products to help people prepare financially for any care needs. Currently there are no viable options for those who want to protect their homes.
According to the poll imposing a cap on spending has strong support amongst the English population with just over three quarters (76%) backing the idea.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, said: 'This is a strong message to the Government that the public believes it should be doing more to help older people with their social care needs.
'We want this Government to be the one that shows the vision and drive to sort out the care system once and for all, providing this generation and future generations of older people with the support they need in later life.
'Our polling shows that this is not a minority issue but one that the vast majority of people care about across the generations. We urge all those who care about the future of social care to sign the Care in Crisis petition on the Age UK website.'
Age UK is asking all those who care about the future of the social care system to sign up to the charity’s petition to get their voices heard. The charity aims to collect 100,000 signatures by 1st March 2012 and will deliver them to the Government ahead of the planned White Paper on the future of long term care.