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October 6, 2009 10:58 AM

Tim Farron with supporters of Age Concern at their 'Big Q' event in October 2009Local MP Tim Farron joined supporters of Age Concern at the Castle Street Centre in Kendal yesterday to discuss new plans for the care of older people.

The government's new green paper on care suggests a new way for paying for the care of older people if and when they need care - either in their own home or in a residential home.

The government's suggestions include an insurance scheme that people can choose to pay in to, or a compulsory scheme that everyone would have to pay in to in order to cover the costs of personal care.

Sixty local residents aged between 17 and 90 gathered at the Castle Street Centre and discussed the proposals. Mr Farron spoke to the gathering at the end of the meeting and promised to take all of their comments to the minister to ensure that they influence the final decision.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Farron said "The discussion event was excellent - I was able to listen to older people who use care services, and to many of the people who work in the care sector alongside Age Concern's expert staff. We must make sure that we give confidence to older people and their relatives that they will be well cared for if and when the time comes, and that they will not be priced-out of the best quality care.

"I believe that personal care should be provided free of charge through the NHS and that older people should not be forced to endure the indignity of having to sell their home or to miss out on decent care. The way we treat our older people is a measure of whether or not we are a decent and civilised society."