Dignity for elderly put on hold31st March 2010
In a commentary article, The Daily Mail says that dignity for the elderly is being put on hold again.
It was back in 1997 that the new Prime Minister Tony Blair made a pledge to the elderly.
He said he did not want his children raised in a country where the "only way pensioners can get long-term care is by selling their home".
To tackle this issue, Mr Blair established a Royal Commission. Yet when it reported two years later, he rejected its findings.
The outcome has been that today eight pensioners are forced to sell their home to pay for their care every day, despite paying taxes and National Insurance for the bulk of their adult life.
However, those who have not saved receive that same care, but for nothing.
The present Prime Minister Gordon Brown has now also pledged to “scrap this unjust tax on prudence and frailty” and instead introduce a comprehensive care service that is free to those who need it, at the point of need.
But there is no clear funding and it will not begin for another five years, though there will be another commission.
Nothing has been done for so long but now on the eve of an election there is action, though a resolution is no closer than it was in 1997.
There is, however, a simple and effective solution to this issue and one that could ensure dignity for the elderly.
Why not offer generous tax-breaks for family members who look after their relatives.
Share this page
Wednesday 14th April 2010 @ 23:05
All written about care for elderly misses the point.
One size cannot fit all. It is ridiculous to talk about 'free for all' or even worse the ambiguous 'for all who need it'
NHS has not been free for all, for years.
It is not wrong for those with considerable means to pay sell their houses etc for latter years care. There is no Right for children etc to expect to inherit while the state has paid for care.
What is wrong is the threshold so that the thrifty pay the profligate do not. Also the cost of care is out of control so that it is at a level that even those who have provided through their working life can not last for long as fees escalate. There has to be some method of indexing by age so that you are expected to make provision but then you receive care at a rate comenserate with those anticapated through the working life.
The figures are way out.
Little care, especially 'nursing care' is available at less than £500 and £1000 per week not unusual, thus range £26K-£52K per year. 10YRS £260k-£520k and 10 yrs+ frequent particularly when Chronic illness + age is a factor.
The current situation is rooted in the LA's buying in private service at a negotiated tariff with the need for the shortfall to be met according to Financial status, by the client. Many in the present 70+ group did provide for their old age but as Homes are profit making businesses then working costs + owners livelihood or share holders profits must be made by the business.
If LAs ran non profit making homes the cost would be much reduced and affordable for more who had planned.
This is the first problem to be sorted.
The next is the future and clearly funding other than taxation, which disappears into the general Govt pot has to be found and ring fenced, dedicate without reservation to care of the elderly and chronically sick.
The Woolworth theory needs to be applied little ,from .most regularly.
As care and chronic sickness are related ALL elderly and chronic sick care should be removed from the Social service and NHS and put into a new organisation with this as their only remit.
Elderly Care, lower levels of nursing of elderly & chronic sick of what ever age. They should have a budget from central funds supplemented by the money to be raised by a Levy on all from birth to death in care et al from the following.
Every citizen in the country has the right to use the NHS mainly free at the point of service. Introduce the essential requirement to hold a valid NHS card which must be validated yearly for a modest fee which all could meet- £5/10. Admin through hospitals and GPS no reminders payable April 1-30th each year. This validated card must be produced at every contact with a medical service. IF NOT produced new one has to be bought for non punative fee. We all remember to carry a credit/debit breakdown/store card.
This would poduce population X fee annually, a substantial supplement to standard budget payment.
There could also be a registration fee for all hospital treatment including A&E active for 5 years.
As all have the right to NHS service this should be brought in as a Cross Party act so that fear of lost votes and public opinion could not derail it.BY FEAR OF LOST VOTES!! Levy should never be made large and a burden-couple of drinks level or video!! NO exemption for anyone.
There are other ways to fund care but at the moment there is no lateral thinking taking place. And depositing large sums etc for most is crazy people even the trifty would not find it possible.
As a professional person who did not work until my children were 11+my state pension is small also my occupational pension and savings made are now vital to basic needs.A house, mortgage free would not generate my fees for long eit perhaps I and others should take up a dangerous sport at retirement!!
Perhaps infact all should be required to buy their own house from starting work which would be made over to the government on receipt of care. The govt could then become property developers and always have a source of revenue!!
Post your comment
Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.
Title: Dignity for elderly put on hold
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14537
Date Added: 31st Mar 2010