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Poll reveals elderly care concerns

Quality of care for the elderly is a significant concern for most people, according to a poll.

The survey by Age Concern reveals eight out of 10 people are "very concerned" about the care they will be given when they get old. It also shows that, despite the government's Dignity in Care campaign, which aimed to "eliminate tolerance of indignity in health and social care services", 40% of people are not confident they will be treated with dignity or respect when they need assistance.

Elderly people accessing care told Age Concern some carers offer very poor quality support. They report that in some cases the wrong medicines were given and dosage records not kept. Some people complained that carers failed to turn up or fell asleep at work, while others said carers did not meet basic hygiene rules.

Around 40,000 older people live in a care home, but one in five of these do not meet the minimum standards for residential care set by the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate, according to Age Concern.

The charity is launching a campaign - the Big Q - to challenge politicians to take action to improve the standard of care for older people.

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