'Systematic failure' of OAP care
A report has condemned England's home care services after finding hundreds of elderly people's human rights are being breached.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission report into council-run home care said there was evidence of a "systematic failure" in the way care was given.
This was despite around half of the 1,254 older people, friends and family members questioned for the report saying they were satisfied with their home care.
The EHRC said there were equally as many examples of treatment that breached human rights, including cases of physical and financial abuse.
Key findings included carers neglecting tasks because of time constraints, carers refusing to warm up and serve food because of "unfounded" food, health and safety concerns, money being stolen over a period of time, chronic disregard for older people's privacy and a disregard for clients' dignity when carrying out intimate tasks.
"The cumulative impact on older people can be profoundly depressing and stressful: tears, frustration, expressions of a desire to die and feelings of being stripped of self-worth and dignity - much of which was avoidable," the report said.
It also recommended greater legal protection for older people after discovering the Human Rights Act does not cover all home care situations.
Care services minister Paul Burstow said: "The EHRC's report exposes the good, bad and ugly sides of care in people's own homes.
"This Government won't tolerate poor care. I am determined to root out ageism and bad practice to drive up quality and dignity in care.
"The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be conducting an additional programme of inspections of home care providers looking at the care and dignity of older people and how staff are trained and supported."