COUNCILLORS have promised to freeze home care charges for older people.
The Labour group on Kirklees Council has proposed an extra £3m for care services in 2008/09.
Plans include freezing home care charges, increasing spending on things like stair-lifts and providing more social activities.
Kirklees Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “We are listening to local people and want to improve the quality of life for older people by investing nearly £3m in essential care services. This would help older people to be more healthy, active and safer in their homes.”
Clr Khan outlined his party’s plans.
He said: “We will freeze home care charges and spend £2.5m on aids to help people live longer in their own homes, such as stair-lifts and specially-adapted bathrooms.
“Currently too many older people are waiting far too long for essential adaptation, some people have waited up to two years which is unacceptable.
“There is clearly a need for more activities for older people and we shall increase the budget for the voluntary sector by £240,000 to provide more high-quality activities. These could be luncheon clubs and social clubs to help older people to get out more often and meet with others.”
The proposals will be debated at Kirklees Council’s annual budget meeting on Wednesday.
Funding a research programme into the needs of older people will also be discussed at the meeting.
Clr Peter McBride believes Kirklees needs to study the needs of its ageing population.
The Dalton Labour man said: “At the moment services are concentrated around social care. While this is important, it affects only a small percentage of the older population.
“We need an action plan involving the council, police and the NHS covering all aspects of people’s needs.
“For instance, the vast majority of houses being built are for families, when bungalows are more appropriate in most cases.”
If the research goes ahead, Clr McBride hopes a report could be compiled within 18 months.
He said: “We want older people to play a major part in holding services to account. How this would be achieved is a matter for the researchers, but perhaps we may be looking at an older person’s parliament.”