Midlothian extends free personal care to under 65s

Stock photo.
Stock photo.

A report to Midlothian Council heard last week has confirmed how plans to extend free personal care to under 65s will be implemented in Midlothian.

Free personal care is currently available for everyone aged over 65 who has been assessed as needing it. From today (April 1), the Scottish Government has extended this to people under 65 as well.

This means residents who have been assessed as needing help with tasks such as bathing, going to the toilet, preparing food, medication, dressing, getting up and going to bed will no longer have to pay for the service. Those who currently pay for the service will see a change in their next bill. Individuals are still required to pay for housing support and other non-personal care tasks.

Alison White, Midlothian Council’s head of adult and social care said: “Extending free personal care to all residents irrespective of age, condition or means is a positive step. People who may have declined support previously due to concerns about costs can now receive services if eligible, helping address a long standing inequality in care.

“The challenge for us is in managing a continuing increase in demand for care at home and social work services. We are working with staff to ensure this extension of free personal care is implemented as smoothly as possible.”