More than a million over-65s who need help with day-to-day basics, like getting out of bed, washing and preparing a meal, are forced to go without because they simply can’t afford it.
Pamela, who’s 77, is one. She told us, “I have osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. I’m a wreck, I think partly through caring for my mum who had dementia and used to fight with me. Once she even gave me a black eye. I asked my doctor if there was any way I could get help. He said, ‘Pam, after all, it is your mother.’ I felt awful.
“Nowadays, I find it so hard to shower or even to lean over the wash my hair in the sink but I can’t afford to pay for help. There are times you want to reach out to people and say, ‘Please can you help me,’ but it feels like begging.”
It’s time for free personal care
We believe people like Pamela deserve better. We’re launching a new campaign calling on the government to make personal care free for everyone who needs it. Our research shows that free personal care would help millions of over-65s enjoy a far better quality of life.
Free personal care would:
- Make care free at the point of use like the NHS, giving certainty and security when you need it most
- Ensure everyone gets the care they need
- Reduce the risk of people having to sell their family home to pay for care
- Massively reduce the number of older people stuck in hospital waiting for care to be organised and save the NHS money
- Give struggling families the chance to spend more quality time with their loved ones
- Help build a fairer society that cares for everyone
Independent Age Director of Policy & Influencing, George McNamara, says, “We’ve found that free personal care for the over-65s is not only popular with the public, it’s also affordable. It would help older people stay in their own homes for longer, reduce pressure on hospitals and save local authority money spent on care home placements. It’s common sense.”