Social care crisis not seen since workhouse days, Labour AM warns
A social care "time-bomb" requires the setting up of a national care service, a Labour AM has warned.
Eluned Morgan said without action "we risk facing a social crisis" not seen "since the days of the workhouse".
Care Forum Wales warned in August of a "triple whammy" of underfunding, staff pay and an ageing population.
The Welsh Government said it had worked for many years on "building a care service fit for the pressures of the modern world".
According to Public Health Wales, the number of people aged 85 or over will reach 184,000 by 2036 - up 145% since 2011.
'Amber lights flashing'
Baroness Morgan, leading a short debate in the Senedd on Wednesday evening on future challenges for the care sector in Wales, said: "Care services are struggling to keep up, and the state is struggling to pay for it.
"Report after report has noted that something needs to be done - the amber lights have been flashing for a long time but they are about to turn red."
The AM for Mid and West Wales called for a cross-party consensus on developing a new funding model, relevant building policies and support for staff working in the social care sector.
She told the assembly she hoped for a national care service which would in time "become as loved and appreciated as the NHS".
Responding, Social Services Minister Rebecca Evans said: "This government has been strongly focused for a number of years now on building a care service fit for the pressures of the modern world.
"We have brought forward ground-breaking legislation to reform care based on a person-centred approach, we've protected social services budgets despite the austerity of the UK government, and we've led the sector towards new approaches of collaboration and integration."