Age UK: Basic rights are being breached

Michelle Mitchell, Age UK's charity director, speaks of the shared responsibility to care for the elderly, and calls for funding to be put in place to ensure this is possible:

"Let's not mince words about what the findings show – leaving someone in soiled beds or clothing for a long time, or failing to ensure that an older person is able to eat or drink is serious neglect and should be treated as such.

"But more than that, providing personal care for older people should not be about completing tasks in whatever is the quickest or cheapest way. Decent care is about looking after a fellow human being in the way that we would like to be cared for when we are older.

"Despite commitments made by both the previous and current government, basic rights to dignity, respect and autonomy are still being breached.

"The biggest threat to the human rights of older people receiving care at home is from cuts to adult social care budgets and it is very unclear whether tightening eligibility criteria to care will allow local authorities to continue to meet their human rights obligations.

"We all share a responsibility to ensure that we respect and care for those in the last years of their lives. We need to ensure that the funding, training and systems are in place to ensure that every single older person is allowed to live safely and with dignity.

"That is why the Dilnot commission must act as a clarion call to government to create a social care structure that ensures a sustainable and fair provision for this generation of older people and those to come."