A petition calling on the government to introduce free personal care for older people, signed by more than 13,000 people in just over 2 weeks, has been presented to the Prime Minister.
Staff and campaigners from Independent Age, the older people’s charity, delivered the petition to 10 Downing St on Tuesday afternoon.
Independent Age is calling on the government to introduce free personal care for older people. The benefits would include:
- reducing cost of care to individuals and families
- significantly reducing unmet care needs
- supporting more people to be cared for in their own home
- reducing pressures on the NHS
- providing much needed support to family carers
Margaret Dangoor, 80, who delivered the petition, said: “I cared for my husband for 12 years at home. During this time, we paid for professional carers to come in and help with the essential tasks like washing, dressing and eating. Towards the end of his life, we were spending more than £3,000 a month on Eddie’s care.
“I supported Independent Age’s petition because I think it is vital that all older people get free personal care. This wouldn’t cover all care costs but it would be a fair way to support people relying on the social care system – I’m not asking for everything, just the basics.”
Morgan Vine, Campaigns Manager at Independent Age, said: “For the last year we have been calling on the Government to introduce free personal care. We speak to people on a daily basis who are paying vast sums for the care they need.
“Free personal care is an affordable option for the country and would reduce costs for both those who have professional care at home and people in residential care. Our Prime Minister has announced his intention to fix the social care system, and it’s crucial that free personal care is part of that solution.
“Our petition has proven the depth of support for this policy change by already collecting over 13,600 signatures in just two weeks. It’s imperative the Government acknowledges all who added their name to this petition, and introduces free personal care for all older people who need it as soon as possible.”