You are here

Free personal care for the elderly considered

1st February 2006

A new report has urged the government to consider implementing a system of improved care services which would be available free of charge to the elderly.

Following the success of the Scottish policy on free care for older people, a study released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has called for a similar approach for the rest of the UK.

Outlining the immense benefits the system would provide for the vulnerable older members of a community, the report indicates clear support for the proposals.

It found that the majority of elderly people, their families and those working in the care profession were in favour of the Scottish system and thought it would improve on current services.

The foundation acknowledged that the free personal care policy had gone over initial budgeting costs and that it would take a lot of time to organise and implement it, but stressed that the benefits outweighed any concerns.

"Although older people, their families, local authorities and care home providers agree there are anomalies that need ironing out, it is clear that the arrangements in Scotland are an improvement on the past," commented Sir Christopher Kelly, chair of the foundation's advisory group.

Researchers believe that radical changes need to be made to meet the needs of the ageing generation and that the Scottish policy "offers valuable insights".