[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 5, December 2011].
Care for as many as one-quarter of a million elderly people in their own homes in England is so bad that it practically breaches human rights, according to an Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry.
The report identifies cases of physical abuse, theft, neglect, disregard for privacy and dignity and other “dehumanising” treatment provided by over-worked, hurried and underpaid / often ill-trained carers.
There are currently around 500,000 people who receive council-funded support in their own homes, but only half were found to be happy with these services. Common complaints include:
- Not receiving enough support to eat and drink.
- Neglect due to carers sticking rigidly to defined tasks, instead of responding flexibly.
- Financial abuse, including money going missing or being stolen.
- Disregard for privacy and dignity, for example being left unwashed and or put to bed in the afternoon.
- Patronising treatment.
- Physical abuse, such as pushing and rough handling.
The system of home care may need a complete re-design, with better regulation and inspection. This report offers conclusions and recommendations.
Read more: Basic home care help ‘breaching human rights’.
Triggle, N. (2011). Basic home care help ‘breaching human rights’. London: BBC Health News, November 23rd 2011.
Close to home: an inquiry into older people and human rights in home care. London: Equality and Human Rights Commission, November [August] 2011. ISBN 9781842064269. Click here to view an executive summary.