§ 49. Mr. Cohen
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he plans any new initiatives regarding care for the elderly in the community.
Mr. Whitney: Our main objective for the care of elderly people is to enable them to live independently in the community for as long as possible. All relevant health and social services policies are directed to that end. Two recent specific initiatives designed to assist the development of services are still being advanced—the "Care in the Community" pilot projects include seven schemes to enable elderly long-stay patients to move out of hospital and a number of projects under the "Helping the Community to Care" programme are designed to help families and volunteers to meet the needs of elderly people living at home. Progress is kept under review. For example, a joint seminar with the Department of the Environment is to be held on 5 March to discuss the various services which can help elderly people to stay in their own homes, and there is to be a DHSS seminar on the specific issue of dispersed alarm systems on 10 April.