Sunday 18 November 2018
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40,000 Older People in Care Isolated New Research Reveals Up

Up to 40,000 older people living in care in England are at risk of social isolation according to national charity The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA).

These stark findings, the result of a two year government funded research project, were revealed in London today where the charity made calls for urgent action. Keynote speaker at the event was Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow.

Said R&RA Chair and acting Chief Executive Judy Downey “We’re saddened and shocked at these revelations; it’s unacceptable to find that so many older people are leading such lonely lives.
“We all know that it’s the people that surround us who are important; a ‘phone call, a visit filled with laughter, a chance to chat about the things that matter and it’s utterly tragic to think of older people in care without any of these things in their lives”.

But it is not just the social impact of isolation that is concerning the charity. Both research and calls to its helpline have revealed that older people who are isolated are at much greater risk of financial and other abuse. A case study cited in the report tells of a care home resident whose bungalow had been bought by the care home manager for his own son.

The charity wants to see immediate changes following their findings. They are calling for Social Services to seek out potentially isolated older people in care and put together a package of proactive support. In addition they want the body which inspects and regulates care homes (The Care Quality Commission) to inspect for potential isolation and to ensure that care homes have strategies in place.

Continued Ms Downey “All older people in care have a right to have someone in touch with them who cares. We live in an age where this should be the absolute minimum and we must not allow these vulnerable people to be forgotten”.

Source: Relatives & Residents Assoc.