UK Care crisis – UK has 1 Carer for every 100 pensioners...

UK Care crisis – UK has 1 Carer for every 100 pensioners... According to an international survey undertaken by the OECD in 2011, Ireland has 3 times as many carers per 100 pensioners. The U.S. has five times as many and Sweden has 12 times as many. The figures, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which represents industrialised nations, help explain the poor quality of care in many of our residential homes, as well as the appalling standards of home-help services, which last month were described as an affront to the human rights of the elderly.

The number of carers working in Britain has halved since the 1990s. The number of personal carers – including those working in residential homes and home helps – has almost halved since the late 1990s. In 1998, there were more than 161,000 in Britain. By 2009, this had fallen by 40 per cent to 97,500. In particular, the number of home helps had halved. The shortfall of paid carers has left millions of families struggling to cope with looking after loved ones. The OECD figures compare full-time care workers, including those based in care homes and those who work in the community as home helps, in different countries. In the UK, the number of namely ‘personal carers’ – who do not include nurses – employed in 1998 was 161,520. But this fell to 97,465 in 2009, working out at just 1 carer per 100 pensioners – the lowest in Western Europe. In residential homes, the number of carers has fallen from 70,752 to 55,701. Home helps have fallen from 90,769 to 41,764, down 54%.

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