Concerns over standard of home care for the elderly

The UK’s home care service has been described as “shocking and disgraceful” by a consumer group today. 
Many elderly people have been left with food out of reach, in soiled beds and without their medication, a care association has said.
The UK Home Care Association said it was never acceptable for people to experience rushed or inadequate care.
Better care for the elderly: The UK Home Care Association reveal shocking conditions in care homes. Image: Nick Fraser/ CC license

Those surveyed included a combination of people receiving council-funded care and people who paying for it themselves.

Rushed care

Some did report examples of excellent care, but the vast majority reported being poorly served, with the most common complaint being missed or rushed visits.

A careworker told BBC, “I’ve been in this profession for 10 years. This agency doesn’t pay for travelling time so it’s rush, rush, rush and the time I spend travelling is taken from each customer.”

“Fifteen-minute visits used to be check calls or to give medication. Now they’re used to microwave a meal, empty a commode and travel to the next person. It’s impossible.”

    Services rationed

In December STV reported a £300,000 funding boost, meant to double home care in Edinburgh. However, today BBC reports Scotland is also having to ration its services. Those with the greatest need will be prioritized, meaning some may be left without proper care. Everyone in Scotland receives this home care service for free.

Councillor David Rogers, of the Local Government Association, said: “We know there isn’t enough money in the system and without fundamental reform the situation is only going to get worse.”

Listen to the Which report on home care for the elderly: