What is care and support?

What is Care and Support and why is it important for people with arthritis?

Social care is personal care and practical support to help people live well with a whole range of long-term conditions, illnesses, physical disabilities, mental health conditions and learning disabilities. It can also provide support for carers.

Good quality, and cost effective, social care is vital for many people with arthritis. When done right it can mean people are supported to live well, regardless of whether they are in their own home, the home of a family member, or a residential care home.

Most of us will need to rely on some aspect of the social care system in our lifetimes, or care about someone who does. Since 2010 cuts to local authority budgets have seen a reduction in care and support available. This has led to many people not having their care and support needs met. We’re concerned that in reality this means people aren’t able to do basic day to day activities like eating, washing or going to the toilet. It can also mean that people can’t take part in wider activities to help improve their well-being like being able to get out and about in their local community, stay in employment, or do voluntary work that they enjoy.

We work in partnership with others as members of the Care and Support Alliance, a coalition of over 80 different charities campaigning for a properly funded care system alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.

What have we done so far?

Campaigning work with the Care and Support Alliance has included a petition to the government to improve the social care system which collected over 19,000 signatures and received a response from the government committing to a green paper consultation in Summer 2018.

The Care and Support Alliance released a report Voices from the Social Care Crisis based on a survey of peoples’ experiences of care. Almost 4,000 people shared their experience, including over 1,100 living with arthritis.

What next?

Social care services such as personal care, and aids and adaptations in the home, are key forms of support that can enable people to maintain their quality of life. For some they also improve independence.

However, despite policy being in place to ensure good provision of home aids and adaptations, with the system increasingly under pressure, people with arthritis are living without them. We want to ensure people with musculoskeletal conditions are able to access what they need.

We will be expanding our campaigning work in the area of aids and adaptations in the future. If you would like to be involved email us on campaigns@versusarthritis.org.