This week the care bill committee is debating who should be eligible for social care. MPs will also consider whether to add a clause that would enable exemption from social care charges for those at the end of their lives.
The amendment would also establish the need for better forward planning about where we would like to die. Most of us would prefer to be at home surrounded by the people we love, yet fewer than one in three are currently able to do so.
Why is it that 89% of those who die in hospital do so following an unplanned admission? In many cases it is because of the sheer exhaustion that comes with providing around-the-clock care. At the end of life there may be a period of days, but sometimes far longer, of complete dependency. Families go to enormous lengths to cope but, especially where there is only one person in a position to provide care, the elastic can only stretch so far.