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John Stillwell/PA Wire
UK News

State of elderly care "disgraceful", says Christian expert

by Aaron James

Louise Morse, from Pilgrim's Friend Society, was speaking after research from the BBC, Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society found 1.2 million elderly people are going without help for care - one in eight in total.

Their research also found the number receiving no help had gone up by 50 per cent since 2010. Since then, local councils have received funding cuts from central government which have in turn affected their ability to provide care.

Last year, more than half of elderly people who asked their local council for help with care did not receive it, with eleven councils in England turning down three in four older people requesting it.

Significant concerns were also raised about the quality of care for people with dementia in their homes. Families reported loved ones being left in soiled beds for days, being allowed to escape from unsecured homes, going hungry and thirsty or being in dirty clothes for days.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Louise Morse said: "I think it is disgraceful, because it's not just that they're not getting care. Older people, especially elderly ladies, are dying.

"How is it that the government doesn't see? Or is it that they see and they don't care? I think we're now the sixth [biggest] economy in the world. Are we so uncaring that we will allow older, frail people, to die?

"Interestingly most decisions are being made by younger people, and I find that quite significant. I wonder how much embedded ageism, and a declining view of elderly people, has got to do with the decisions that are being made."

A Department of Health spokeswoman £5bn has been made available to help the NHS and care sectors work together better, and another £1.5bn more will be made available by 2019.

Councils are now also allowed to increase council tax by two per cent a year, to enable them to invest further in care services.

She said: "We are determined to make sure that older people throughout the country can get affordable and dignified care."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Louise Morse on the News Hour:

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