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Help us improve the care people with arthritis receive

Published on 13 November 2017

Nurse visiting an elderly ladyGood 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.

Please join us and ask the Government to take action to improve the social care system.

The term social care can often be misunderstood, and many people living with arthritis don’t know how it could help them. Social care covers much more than residential care homes; it can provide personal care and practical support (such as help to wash, dress, or go to the toilet) in a variety of settings, for adults of all ages, including those living with physical disabilities and illnesses, learning disabilities, or mental health problems. On top of this, the system also offers support for carers.

Social care can support people with musculoskeletal conditions by giving them access to aids and adaptations to make life a bit easier (including installing grab rails, or building a wet room), occupational therapy and equipment, meals on wheels, day care services, and services to support carers.

Many assume that, like the NHS, social care is free. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Social care is means-tested, and the policy which governs how the social care system works dictates how severe a person’s condition must be before they qualify for support, as well as how much money they must spend.

An aging population

As our population ages, more of us will live for longer with conditions like arthritis. The consequences of a failing social care system are serious. It can leave people feeling unsafe, scared, and alone, while pushing carers and families to breaking point. Those abandoned often end up at crisis point, requiring the NHS to step in.

At Arthritis Research UK we are committed to ensuring that people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions have timely access to high quality care and support, regardless of where they live in the country.

Politicians have acknowledged social care is a huge issue which must be addressed, but no plans have currently been put forward to improve the system. As members of the Care and Support Alliance - a coalition of over 80 charities - we are calling on the Government to publish the consultation they have promised which will look at ways to improve the system for all those who rely on it.

Please sign the CSA petition to support this campaign.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.