John Harris

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Archive for December, 2016

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If austerity is over, why can’t Britain afford proper social care? | John Harris

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

The services hit hardest by Tory cuts are those that allow the needy to live with dignity. Surely they should now be the highest priority

The 82-year-old man said he wanted to remain anonymous. Then he spent half an hour telling me about the increasing difficulty of his day-to-day life. “I feel helpless,” he said. He lives alone around 40 minutes from London, and has a neurological condition that leads to long spells of physical weakness. He uses a wheelchair, and depends on the care workers at his sheltered housing development for assistance with some of life’s most basic tasks. Of course, it’s not just him. His flat is just one of 44.

Until recently, he said, there were several care workers there, but the numbers were cut. Seven or eight people once worked a busy morning shift; now there are never more than five, falling to two or three at other times, and a lone person at night.

Growing numbers of people who are continent but have mobility troubles are being ‘left to wet themselves’

Related: Shamefully, the autumn statement said nothing about social care | Jennifer Dixon and Anita Charlesworth

Related: Who will care for us in the future? Watch out for the rise of the robots | Madeleine Bunting

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