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Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Monday, 20 June 2011 08:51 UK

Home care 'overlooks human rights of older people'

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An inquiry into care of the elderly at home in England has found that the basic human rights of older people are being overlooked.

The interim report, from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, identified major problems in the home care system, including a high turnover of staff.

Some respondents said they had been left in bed for more than 17 hours; others were not washed properly and were left in soiled clothes for long periods. Lady Greengross from the Commission, told Today presenter Sarah Montague that investment in services should reflect a change in the needs of older people:

"The money isn't allocated quite in the right way: it isn't balanced," she explained.

"We need much more money going to care in the community because a lot of the diseases that used to kill us off as acute illness have now become chronic conditions and people can live for a long time in need of care, but not in need of expensive hospital or residential care if we get it right."

Peter Hay, the president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services agreed that "poor care is never acceptable, whatever the system".

Adding that many older people are "passive about complaining," Mr Hay said that those involved in home care must "find new ways of hearing from [older people] about their experiences".


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