Disabled home care costs up 10 per cent
Frail elderly and disabled people are being charged more for council
help to get washed, dressed and fed at home, according to a survey.
The number of elderly people having their home care services fully paid for by their local authority has fallen by 11 per cent over the past two years in spite of an ageing population, statistics obtained by the Labour Party have shown.
The figures showed the average charge for an hour of home care increased by 10% between 2009/10 and 2012/13 from £12.29 to £13.61.
There were also wide variations in the cost of care, ranging from free home care in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets to £21.50 an hour in Brighton and Hove.
The Labour Party said 121 out of 153 councils in England - 79 per cent - responded to a freedom of information request on home care charges.
The increase in home care charges means the average annual cost for an older or disabled person who pays for 10 hours of home care a week has increased to £7,077 a year in 2012/13 - up more than £680 since 2009/10, according to the Labour Party.
Shadow care minister Liz Kendall said: "These increases in home care charges are a stealth tax on the most vulnerable people in society.
"Fewer older people are getting their care for free, and more older and disabled people are being forced to pay more for vital services that help them get up, washed, dressed and fed.
"These services are a lifeline for older and disabled people and crucial to help them stay living independently in their own homes."
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she called on the Government to take "urgent action".
"Older people are struggling to get the care they need now, they are being charged more now, they should be taking action now," she said.
She added that Labour was "absolutely committed" to finding a cross-party agreement on the issue.
"It's a long-term challenge facing families and society, and we need to try to get that cross-party agreement so that things don't change and people can properly plan for when they get older," she said.
She said she was "disappointed" that the Government was promising only a draft Bill during this session of parliament.
A spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Society said many people with dementia and their carers were already struggling to pay for home care and some might not be able to afford the increased prices.
"The extortionate costs in some parts of the country don't even guarantee good quality care. This is disgraceful," she said.
"Home care services are vital in helping to maintain quality of life for people living with dementia."
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...