Questions we asked election candidates:
How will you bring us closer to a fundamental review of social care provision?
What steps will you take to ensure that dignity, independence and choice will be at the heart of a new approach to social care?
Are you committed to preventing poor health of older people as well as treating it?
Social care is a complex issue and can be a significant source of frustration and distress for many families. Evidence suggests that the reductions in the provision of social care can have a knock on effect of increasing demand for other health services especially emergency care. Current government policy enabling older people to remain in their own homes is a positive step and what older people want for themselves, but we are already starting to witness the impact of public expenditure cuts on services that support older people to remain independent in their homes.
At present the majority of people up to the age of 65 years are healthy and the cost of providing care ranges between £1,000 and £2,000 per year. Between the ages of 65 and 80 years people are still relatively healthy with costs ranging between £2,000 and £4,000 per year. It is only above the age of 80 years that the demand for health and social care services increases rapidly with an associated increase in the annual cost of care to somewhere in the region of £10,000 and £12,000.
Providing quality care for older people does not necessarily mean spending more money, but it does mean doing things differently. It means putting dignity, independence and choice at the heart of the social care system in Northern Ireland. It means providing care services that support older people to remain healthier for longer, preventing poor health and dependence. It means investing now to save in future years. It means combating ageism. It means fundamentally changing the way our care system works. It requires long term political commitment from our elected representatives.
High 5 factsheet - Fundamentally Review Social Care (PDF 181KB)
Leaflets, factsheets and guides aimed to keep you informed about ageing well in Northern Ireland.
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