Care minister calls for volunteers for elderly
9th July 2014
The care minister Norman Lamb has called for more volunteers to help meet the rising demand for elderly care. As the UK’s ageing population continues to rise, it is thought that modern families and the state cannot cope with the rise in demand for care to keep older people independent within their own homes.
In a recent article, the care minister said that there was an “overwhelming case” for volunteers to fill the gap made by the increase in the older population, where mobility aids and stairlifts can help but only go part of the way towards providing an independent lifestyle in the home for the elderly.
“A neglectful society”
In a comparison between Britain and Spain, Lamb described Britain in a Financial Times article, as documented by the BBC, as having “"inadvertently become quite a neglectful society", where Spain’s elderly tend to be better looked after by their families. The problem Britain faces is more of a travelling issue as the majority of cases where elderly residents aren’t receiving sufficient care from relatives is where they live long distances apart.
As a result of moving for work or study, more and more people in the UK live a great distance apart from their parents and grandparents meaning that, unfortunately, an increasing number of the country’s elderly aren’t receiving sufficient homecare in order to maintain an independent lifestyle.
As the number of older people in the country continues to rise – with the Office for National Statistics publishing that the number of people in the UK over the age of 65 has grown from 15 per cent in 1985 to 17 per cent in 2012 – there is a call for a better care system to be put in place to compensate.
While non-slip walk in baths and such aids can dramatically reduce the risk of falls and the need for residential care, the care minister believes that more needs to be done by families and volunteers to improve the state of care in the UK.
Image Credit: NHS Confederation (flickr.com)
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