“We need to start thinking as a society about how we deal with care of our own parents,” he told the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, according to The Daily Telegraph.
He highlighted that while parents care for their children, society does not take the same approach when it comes to care for the elderly.
Speaking at the local government select committee, he said that parents have as much of a responsibility in caring for their elderly parents as they do for their own children.
He said: “One of the things that has struck me as I’ve been doing this role is that nobody ever questions the fact that we look after our children — that’s just obvious. Nobody ever says it is caring responsibility. It’s just what you do.
“I think some of that logic and some of way we think about that, in terms of the sort of volume of numbers that we are seeing coming down the track, will have to impinge on the way we start thinking about how we look after our parents,” he said.
Tim Loughton, a former families minister, said his fellow Conservative made a “fair point” and highlighting that Mediterranean countries as an example where families have a “social structure” in place to care for elederly relatives.
However Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the Government was pushing responsibility for social care on to families.
“These comments from an out-of-touch minister show how bad the social care crisis is,” he tsaid in an interview with a national daily newspaper.
“He would want the best care possible for his family, and millions of people are the same.
“This Government, rather than dealing with the problem, wants families to do it themselves. They need to get a grip.”
The Local Government Association has warned that if no fresh funds are allocated for the social care sector, then there is a need to be upfront with the public on the level of care that can be provided for the elderly. It said that a growing number of people in need of social care are being left stranded in hospitals.
Izzi Seccombe, the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board chairwoman, said: “The intentions and the spirit of the Care Act, that aim to help people to live well and independently, are in grave danger of falling apart and failing unless new funding is announced by government for adult social care.
“It is not good enough just to be trying to help someone get washed and dressed. Adult social care is about much more than this. It is about aspiring to help people live their lives to the fullest and with dignity, not simply just get by. This is the great strength of the Care Act, which unfortunately is now at risk,” Seccombe said.
The Telegraph quoted a government spokesman as saying that councils have been allocated £7.6bn in dedicated funding for social care over this parliament and local authorities that fail to deliver high quality services will continue to be challenged.