Fam­i­lies must pay cost of look­ing af­ter el­derly, says ex­pert

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

STEPHEN NAY­SMITH

sud­den un­planned move from a care home can in­crease the mor­tal­ity rate. But there are ex­am­ples of it be­ing done well to avoid the worst dam­age, par­tic­u­larly to peo­ple with de­men­tia.”

She said that while the pub­lic per­cep­tion might be that the care home busi­ness was highly prof­itable, in fact it is ex­tremely risky, with providers hav­ing to meet ris­ing costs, yet hav­ing lim­ited in­put into how much they re­ceive from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

“So many as­pects are beyond your con­trol. All you have to do is look at the num­ber of care homes clos­ing across the UK,” she said.

“Gov­ern­ments can’t con­tinue to in­crease what they pay, so fam­i­lies will need to be more re­spon­si­ble for the cost of care and plan for what they are go­ing to do if they get poorly.”

Age Scot­land has also warned the clo­sures could

Pro­fes­sor June An­drews warned a sud­den move from a care home can raise the risk of death among el­derly pa­tients.

have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents. The char­ity is call­ing for a

com­pul­sory risk reg­is­ter for care homes to an­tic­i­pate and mit­i­gate sim­i­lar clo­sures in fu­ture.

Char­ity di­rec­tor Keith Rob­son said: “It’s ur­gent that providers and com­mis­sion­ers work

to­gether to set up the most ef­fec­tive contin­gency plan­ning process.

“They also need to

en­sure that early ac­tion can be taken to pre­vent clo­sure or en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion.”

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