Campaigners are calling on the coalition to increase funding in social care and to implement the findings of a government-backed commission set up last year to provide an independent review of the system.
The government is due to make a decision in April on the proposals made by Andrew Dilnot, who recommended a £35,000 cap on what individuals should pay for their care. Oxford economist Dilnot has also proposed raising the threshold for receiving help with care to £100,000.
The Commission estimates that its proposals would cost about £1.7bn.
With a decision imminent, more than 1,000 people from lobby group End the Care Crisis – including staff from Otley care home Teal Beck House – marched on parliament last week.
Teal Beck House manager Karen Coady is demanding the appointment of a Minister for Older People, having helped organise a 137,000-strong petition – handed to Downing Street in November.
“A Minister for Older People is needed to look after the many issues impacting on the quality of life for older people today – not just social care but also housing, transport, pensions and age discrimination,” she said.
“It is about time a Minister for Older People is appointed so that the elderly get fairer representation in Parliament and their issues are no longer ignored.”
Mike Padgham, owner of Scarborough care agency Twenty Four 7 Care Services, said the Dilnot Commission’s proposals should be implemented as soon as possible.
“We’d like to see the recommendations of by Andrew Dilnot implemented,” he said. “There’s been so much talk about it (the Dilnot report) and now we just want to see it put into action.”
York Council’s cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, said at present many people are afraid of their family losing out on their inheritance because of high care costs.”