Importance of social care and support

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has stated legislation to change the funding of social care for the elderly and disabled in England might be introduced during this parliament's term of office. In plans set out this week, the government will decide on how a cap on what people cost towards their own care will work, the BBC reports.

Last year, a review overseen by economist Andrew Dilnot suggested several initiatives that would change the landscape of adult social care funding, with a £35,000 cap on what people should pay towards home visits and care home costs before they get help from the state.

At present, council-funded home help and care home places for the elderly and disabled are only available to those with assets under £23,250, while the Dilnot Report recommended this threshold rises to £100,000, while a £35,000 lifetime cap on costs would be "fair".

President of the British Psychological Society Dr Peter Banister CPsychol commented: “Care and support, particularly for older people is a vital part of society. The Government’s recently published White Paper has sparked a lot of debate about future funding for this care, which has perhaps overshadowed some other areas of discussion. It’s worth noting that care and support services  also provide important contact for people who might otherwise be isolated. Continuing social contact can help improve mental health and well-being."