Letter: Family limits over care of the elderly

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The Independent Online
Sir: Paul Twyman (letter, 1 September) asks why the idea that responsibility for looking after elderly patients should rest with the family is outrageous. It is precisely because they are patients.

Many diseases of the elderly are greatly incapacitating and require enormous amounts of care, both physical and psychiatric. It is these long-term illnesses that the NHS is showing signs of avoiding, due to the cost and the reduction in the number of patients treated, with its consequent effect on the league position of the trust.

I don't think anyone would argue with the family taking responsibility for an elderly relative who needed some care and support, but was otherwise healthy.

Yours faithfully,


Woodford Green,


1 September