18 Oct 2013
Anchor’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Mario Ambrosi, has responded to a provocative speech due to be made by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today, in which he will warn that too many older people are unnecessarily placed into care or left isolated in their own homes when they could be looked after by relatives.
The speech, which will be made to the National Children and Adults Service (NCAS) conference, will highlight research showing there are now 800,000 people in England who are chronically lonely and will call on Britain to learn from other cultures where “the social contract” between young and old is far stronger.
Mario said: “It is great the Government is tackling the problems faced by the millions of older people who are lonely.
“But it is the Government’s short-term and piecemeal thinking about funding for care, transport and other older people’s issues that is exacerbating this isolation.
“The Government's emphasis is for older people to stay in their homes – but the Government needs to get the balance right as living in their own home is not always the best thing for older people. Care homes are thriving communities with daily meaningful activity and interaction. It is also worth remembering that not all people have an extended family to turn to, and that the ‘children’ of many 80 and 90 year olds could be 60-70 and perhaps not particularly mobile themselves.
“Lord Filkin’s report highlighted that the Government is unprepared for our ageing society. What is needed is more joined up strategic thinking. A Minister for demographic change is needed so that older people’s issues are looked at holistically rather than by individual Government departments. This will benefit this current older generation as well as future older generations.”
Anchor is a member of The Ready for Ageing Alliance which urges the Government and all political parties to face up to the major changes and challenges from our rapidly ageing society. Find out more about research we’ve released.