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Care views on elderly criticised by Keighley councillor
8:20am Monday 28th October 2013 in Keighley
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for families to look at how they treat older people and end the “national shame” that there are 800,000 elderly people in society who are chronically lonely.
But his comments were met with frustration by Keighley East councillor and Older People’s Champion Doreen Lee, who said older people needed more Government help to stay independent, rather than relying on busy relatives.
Mr Hunt told the National Children and Adults Services conference in Harrogate many elderly people are left isolated because their own families fail to visit them.
People should examine how they treat their own parents and grandparents, he said, and learn from the way older people are treated with respect and reverence in other cultures.
But Coun Lee said often older people wanted help to stay independent and did not want to burden relatives.
She added: “It’s a way of taking responsibility away for the Government.
“It would be wonderful, but all cultures are different and this culture has enough on trying to survive around here.
“We’re not in London. This is the North of England and we don’t need Jeremy Hunt telling us what to do with the elderly. Most need their own independence.
“Is he going to help those families by paying them money?”
Coun Lee’s role comes under the Bradford & District Older People’s Partnership umbrella, which includes organisations such as Age UK Bradford and District.
Head of operations Colin Gornall said: “One of the things Age UK Bradford and District in particular is keen on, is to ensure people in their own homes are not isolated, and we have a couple of projects specifically tailored towards that.”
He added part of the issue with supporting isolated people was finding them, and added his experience was all cultures had isolated elderly people.
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