Social care means a lot to me personally as well as professionally. Sadly, my Mum died about two months ago but for the last four years of her life I was her part-time carer. A fit and active 88-year-old, still working as a piano teacher, she had a terrible fall which robbed her of almost all her mental capacity in an instant. This completely changed both our lives.
It’s one thing to know about social care in theory, another to experience it first-hand. I have seen the good – and the not so good – with my own eyes. I learned so much from this, in particular that getting really high quality reliable care is a lottery that many unfortunately lose.
Because of my job I was able to advocate effectively for my Mum, but I constantly thought of all those older people with no one to speak for them, and I shuddered to think what must be happening to them as a result.
The Prime Minister's promise
When he became Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised to ‘fix social care’ and at Age UK we are determined to hold him to it. We want to make sure that he and his Government do not forget that he made that pledge, almost two years ago now.
Since then we have been living through the pandemic, but now that we are beginning to think about a return to something more like normal it’s time for the Prime Minister to fulfil his promise. Social care had some big problems before COVID-19 arrived, but the pandemic has brought them into sharp relief and also made them worse. Sadly, we can’t bring back the 40,000 plus lives that were lost in care homes as a result of the virus, but at least we can take action now to ensure a similar tragedy cannot happen again.
My colleagues and I are working to ensure the Prime Minister takes this action and follows through on his pledge. And we’re not alone. The Care and Support Alliance (CSA), which brings together more than 75 national charities and not for profit organisations, is leading the campaign for decent care for everyone who needs it. The Alliance includes disability, older people’s and carer charities. Age UK was one of the founding members of the CSA in 2009 and at the moment I am one of its three co-chairs.
Today we are launching a new campaign action to ask MPs to make social care a top priority in parliament and keep the Prime Minister to his word.
Recently an important Ministerial meeting about care reform was delayed and with summer recess just around the corner, I’m concerned that the Government are dodging decisions on social care.
We need to act quickly and collaboratively. Every single MP’s voice will be critical. If parliamentarians across the country hold the Prime Minister to his word and back him to deliver bold plans for reform, he’ll have to keep his promise to fix care for good. So please will you join our campaign and email your MP.
Together we can make a real difference, I am sure - and I know my Mum would approve.
Email your MP about fixing care for good
Every single MP's voice will be critical.