Future Care Capital has launched Mind the Care Gap, a campaign to encourage an honest conversation about the challenges we face as our population continues to age.
This month-long campaign will explore the key issues facing adult social care provision as our population gets both older and larger. Much of the debate has been dominated by funding issues, but as part of Future Care Capital’s 2030 Vision, the campaign will stimulate conversations about how we might go about promoting a society that cares for everyone – no matter how old you are or what your background is – and ultimately, what the country wants future health and care provision to look like.
Over the course of the next four weeks, Future Care Capital will examine loneliness and social isolation, long-term health conditions, the care workforce, community responses to health and care, end of life care, and what might be in store for the future of health and care provision. Their aim is to highlight the everyday problems people are encountering and to flesh out the parameters of a new settlement for health and care that provides the right services for everyone whilst recognising the benefits of living longer. We need a new Care Covenant.
To build on the campaign and maintain momentum, the charity will also hold a Mind the Care Gap Summit on April 26th in Central London.
This week, the campaign will focus on social isolation and older people living with long-term health conditions. Loneliness is a tragedy for anyone, particularly for those people in later life who do not have any contact with friends or family. The impact loneliness can have on mental and physical health is increasingly well-documented.
Future Care Capital spoke to a number of people from across the country, including frontline staff, service users and unpaid carers looking after loved ones, to get their perspective on loneliness.
Jane Steer, who lives alone and has a number of different health conditions, spoke about her concerns regarding access to health and wellbeing provision:
“The disabilities that I have are numerous, some of which I have had since I was very young, being born with partial vision. I didn’t need to access many health services until later on in life. When I came to access more support to manage my disabilities, I discovered how difficult it was to be able to get access to the right health services to manage my conditions.”
Dr Joshi, a General Practitioner in Leicester, talked about the link between mental health and loneliness:
“Often as GPs when we go into people’s homes, the medical issue tends not to be the primary problem because they are not functioning, they cannot function, there is a breakdown because they cannot manage their daily activities and what you really need then is an integrated care approach to support that patients care. A lot of the time, poor mental health and loneliness plays a big part in how a patient deals with their medical issues.”