With our elderly population set to soar, Mark Easton investigates the radical steps some families and neighbourhoods are taking to look after their ageing members. Wendy Hurrell reveals the gaping gaps in the capital's elderly care services. And - Roy Hudd meets the East End entrepreneur who's turned the music hall tradition into a thriving business.
Elderly care in crisis
Former cabinet minister David Blunkett has warned that families, neighbours and “younger older people” will have to take a more active role in caring for people in their old age.
Mr Blunkett, who served as Work and Pensions Secretary under Tony Blair, told the BBC’s Inside Out programme that a political solution to the problem of paying for elderly care was unlikely to emerge.
He said that raising taxes to pay for care was “ridiculous politically because nobody will touch it with a barge pole” and that politicians are “scared of arguing about tax and spend”.
He added: “We need an imaginative, joined-up, holistic answer that mobilises and supports families with caring, that gets the community involved, that gets ‘younger older’ people who are still active as part of the solution. This is about society as a whole rather than a financial cost[…] It’s essential because the money won’t be available to do it in any other way."
Inside Out examines the problem of spiralling costs in elderly care. With many of us living longer is the challenge of providing care reaching crisis point?
The BBC’s Home Editor Mark Easton examines some of the radical solutions that are being tested around the UK to help tackle the elderly care crisis.
These include the Isle of Wight’s innovative ‘Care4Care’ scheme – where neighbours bank care credits for the time they spend helping elderly neighbours which they can then spend on their own care later in life.
Mark also visits a happy ‘homeshare’ in Essex and a unique retirement village in Yorkshire.
Action lines and support
If you or anyone you know is affected by the issues raised in the Inside Out: Elderly Care TV films, the following agencies, charities and organisations may be available to help.
Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone by providing information and advice, and getting involved in campaigns, training and research.
Advice line: 0800 1696565. The line is open 8am - 7pm 365 days a year.
Carers UK is a charity set up to help people who care for family or friends. It provides information and advice about caring as well as practical and emotional support for carers.
Advice line: 0808 8087777
Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.
With its partners it aims to ensure that information, advice and practical support are available to all carers across the UK.
Relatives & Residents Association
The Relatives and Residents Association provides information and support to families and friends who find themselves having to deal with helping their loved ones make the move into a residential home. It also raises concerns about the care that those in need of care are already receiving.
Contact - 020 7359 8136, weekdays 09.30-16.30, or email email@example.com
First Stop offers free, independent information and advice on all aspects of care and housing for older people. Its service includes housing, care, finance and rights.
Contact - 0800 377 7070 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Action on Elder Abuse
Action on Elder Abuse works to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults.
Helpline - 0808 808 8141
Dementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia. It provides practical and emotional support to family carers of people with dementia.
Contact - 0845 257 9406 (Tuesdays/Thursdays 11:00-20:45 and Saturdays 10:00-13:00) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alzheimer's Society is a leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers.
The Society provides information and support to people with any form of dementia and their carers through its publications, National Dementia Helpline, website and more than 2,000 local services throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It campaigns for improved standards of care and greater understanding of dementia.
Helpline – 0300 222 1122. Advisors are available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.30pm.
Friends of the Elderly
Friends of the Elderly provides a range of services including residential care homes, specialist dementia care, day clubs and telephone support.
The following schemes covered in the Inside Out elderly care special may also be of interest:
Care 4 Care
Share and Care
Hartrigg Oaks Retirement Village
London's elderly care 'lottery' revealed
Care for the elderly in London remains a postcode lottery, a BBC Inside Out research suggests.
The Local Government Association estimates that there has been a £1bn reduction in English councils' current social care budgets since the government's spending review in 2010.
That has put extra pressure on care, which the LGA says is already under-funded.
But the deal you get appears to depend on where you live.
Read the full story on the BBC News London website
Elderly care crisis requires innovative solutions
With many of us living longer the challenge of providing care for the elderly is becoming a major issue.
Former cabinet minister David Blunkett has warned that families, neighbours and "younger older people" will have to take a more active role in caring for people in their old age.
Mr Blunkett, who served as work and pensions secretary under Tony Blair, told BBC Inside Out that a political solution to the problem of paying for elderly care was unlikely to emerge.
He believes what is needed is "an imaginative, joined-up, holistic answer that mobilises and supports families with caring".
Mark Easton examines some of the radical solutions being tested around England to help tackle the elderly care crisis.
They include the Isle of Wight's innovative Care4Care scheme where neighbours bank care credits for the time they spend helping elderly neighbours.
Watch a video feature on the BBC News website.
Mark Easton blog
|Series Producer||Andy Richards|