Frailty Part 5
I thought that I might have exhausted this topic with four blogs on the subject – but i have touched on one aspect which needs a bit more attention.
The provision of care for those who need it
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has just published figures on the numbers of those needing care, and the inability of our current systems to meet this need. The numbers are shocking.
At the end of April 2022 nearly 300,000 people were waiting for assessments for social care. 74,000 had been waiting for more that half a year, up by 80% from the previous estimate. The total of those waiting had increased by over 90,000 over the previous six months – an increase of 600 more people every day. If those who had been assessed but were still waiting for care to start are added in, more than half a million people need, but are not receiving, care.
The providers of care
A combination of increasing demands, more people seeking help with complex conditions and a lack of social care staff lie behind these terrifying figures
For those who have had assessments and been found to qualify, the battle is not over. There is a nationwide lack of carers, Pay for carers is miserly, discouraging new recruits and leading to many quitting this highly pressured and vital service. Even if care can be identified, the allowance given to the clients often fails to reach the real cost, low though this is.
- People are suffering at home without the right support in place, with some dying alone.
- Family members are having to give up their jobs to care for their relative with a completely inadequate carer’s allowance. Many are at risk of being pushed into poverty.
- Unsupported older people are more likely to need hospital treatment for any inter current illness
- After treatment in hospital there are lengthy waits before adequate care at home is available.
- Hospital beds are full with patients ready for discharge but nowhere to go -so admission of new patients becomes increasingly difficult.
- Patients are stacked up on trolleys in A&E.
- The queues of ambulances outside A&E departments grow ever longer .
The financial consequences to individuals and society as a whole are enormous
The reaction of the ADASS is the same as the reaction of almost everyone involved – more money. Certainly for the current system to be able to cope more investment is needed – to increase the pay of carers and to pay for care, .But no-one mentions the possibility of prevention.
Sorry about the capitals but FRAILTY AND END OF LIFE DEPENDENCE ARE NOT INEVITABLE! They are largely the result of having a population of inactive and unfit people who are prone to all the degenerative diseases of later life and are wide open to the risks of dependence in old age. Political action is needed to reduce the impact of this disaster.
If I were a Conservative Party member I would support any candidate for PM who appeared to be interested in the physical activity of our citizens. Sadly I would probably not find a suitable recipient for my vote.
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