Age UK have warned that further cuts to social care budgets could be catastrophic for those needing care.
One of their fears is that older people who are too frail to get out of bed unassisted may be denied home care services because they are deemed ‘not dependent enough’.
Age UK also warned that further cuts to the social care budgets could lead to an increase in the ’15- minute visit’ operated by some home care companies. Recent examples of this include the elderly having to choose between home carers making them a cup of tea or helping them to the toilet because of visits being so short.
The government are currently in the throes of drawing up a new system of nationalised care whereby the quantity of funding given to each individual is decided by their needs and assets.
Currently the system is run by individual councils which has led to widespread disparity between the standards of care delivered across the country and which has led some elderly people to sell their own homes just to pay for their care.
Unfortunately such warnings about care funding are not new, and given the amount of time that the government are taking to develop this new model of care funding, many more ugly incidents of inappropriate home care delivery are bound to emerge before the funding situation is finalised.
To a certain degree, much of this problem also lies with home care agencies. I fail to see how any reputable home care agency can genuinely believe that they can deliver any standard of care to a person in two fifteen minute vists per day, but unless they take a stand and place a minimum quote of half an hour or forty-five minutes on each home visits, then local councils will continue to go to the lowest common denominator of the only thing that is relevant to them-price, when it comes to care delivery.
The Mayor of Salford. Mr Ian Stewart, will be officially opening a new café and hairdressing salon at The Fountains Care Home in Salford on Wednesday 4th December.
Both the café and the hair salon have formed part of an ongoing programme of refurbishment at The Fountains Care Home since it was came under new ownership three years ago, with the new owners committed to improving the daily lives of residents.
The Fountains Home Manager Ann Watkinson said that “the new café and hairdressing salon are great additions to The Fountains Care Home. We look after more than ninety residents here, it is a real community, so to be able to bring what are the cornerstones of any community, a place to sit and have a cup of coffee, and somewhere to get your hair done, into our care home is really important for our residents. We have no doubt they will get a great deal of enjoyment from these new services.”
The official opening ceremony is due to take place at 10am on Wednesday 4th December- just in time for residents to start booking in for those vital Christmas hairdressing appointments! For further information about the Official Opening day, please call The Fountains Care Home on 0161 794 5814
Independent care home owners have warned that there is a care home funding ‘time-bomb’ waiting to explode as the population ages over the next quarter of a century.
Speaking at a conference in Glasgow, independent care home owners said that the traditional areas that pensioners have come to rely on for their retirement, such as pensions, benefits and the NHS, are being squeezed so tightly that inevitably something will have to give over the next 25 years.
Ranald Mair, who is the Chief Executive of Scottish Care, said that “Against reducing budgets, the local authorities and other parties are faced with trying to drive down cost in order to make the resource pot go further. But that means the sector lacks the investment that it needs to maintain quality.”
These remarks are completely in keeping with our last post wherein up to a third of care home providers in Wales fear they will no longer be in business in five years time, due to cuts in care funding.
The fact that people in Scotland also receive free personal care, something which does not occur in other parts of the U.K, is also apparently under threat. Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, who paved the way for the free personal care scheme, said that ““This is a matter of choice. The world has changed. We’re a different kind of society in terms of age and need, and we have to reassess how we spend our money.”
A stark warning from Care Forum Wales has predicted that up to a third of Welsh care home owners do not expect to be in business in five years time.
The warning comes after Care Forum Wales carried out a survey with its 500+ independent care home owners who felt that the chronic underfunding of the care home sector coupled with an inability to recruit good staff is choking the care home sector.
Care Forum Wales went on to predict that such a mass exodus within the Welsh care home sector would place a further burden on the NHS who are already struggling.
Some of the key findings of the survey included the fact that 34% of respondents expect to quit the Welsh care home sector over the next five
73.4% of Welsh care home owners are having difficulty recruiting staff.
60% of Welsh care home owners are also unhappy with the current inspection system.
Chair of Care Forum Wales, Mario Kreft MBE said: “Sadly it’s not surprising that people feel so despondent that they are really think of throwing in the towel.
“I think it particularly affects the smaller, community based homes often in rural areas that rely on the owners’ input.
“People have to understand that nursing homes are only paid an extra 72p an hour above residential care rates.
“For that you have to contend with is a whole raft of extra responsibilities and legislation.
“For one thing, you have to have a 24/7 fulltime registered nurse so you don’t have to be a genius to work out that you need 20 plus people just to pay for a nurse round the clock.
.”Increasingly, I’m afraid, the sums just don’t add up and nobody knows how these places are going to survive – everybody now knows that health boards are underfunding basic health board funded nursing care in Wales.
“We are almost certainly going to see a major reduction in the number of available nursing beds unless something drastic is done to address the situation.
“Over the next 10 to 15 years we are going to need investment to retain the nursing beds that currently underpin the NHS.
“Unfortunately, we still have is to convince local authorities who are so obsessed with the notion that somehow they can abolish residential care because people can be cared for in the community.
“What we’ve got to recognise is that there are almost as many nurse beds registered for nursing care in the independent sector homes in Wales as there are in the NHS.
“Care Forum Wales believes we need to link these two elements together so that we have a system that is integrated, including domiciliary care.
“To a large degree I think the Welsh Government does get it, but that understanding has not filtered down to local level where far too often local authorities are in one silo and health authorities are in another silo.
“At the same time the demographics tell us there is going to be a doubling in a relatively short space of people over 85 in Wales.”
Managing director of Czajka Care Group, Konrad Czajka has urged people to reconsider their care home costs when a cap on care costs is out in place in 2016.
From 2016, the most that any individual will have to pay for their own care is £72,000 in total, but as Mr Czajka points out, this care cap is only related to medical care, and not to care accomodation or meals, which clearly form a large part of the costs of care.
The current threshold above which people currently have to pay their own fees is £23,000, and with that set to increase to £118,000, it means that people really need to start planning much further in advance for their care needs so that they know how much they are likely to have to pay for their own care and for how long.
One way to plan for long term care is via long term care insurance which you can read about by clicking on this link.