The Health Secretary has called for Britain to follow Italy, where it is common for elderly parents to move in with their children rather than move to a care home. Under the system of ‘badanti’, families then employ “au pairs” to care for aged loved ones.
Mr Hunt said families need to think drastically simply because there will not be enough care home places in the future as the population ages.
Mr Hunt again brought the contentious issue to the forefront about whether Britons do enough to look after their families in old age at the Tory conference, adding that the country would need to build 100 care homes a month to cope with the rising numbers of frail elderly.
The Health Secretary has also praised a number of British schemes, such as HomeShare which arranges accommodation for students and others in return for looking after older people.
But he added: ‘Despite many local examples of innate British kindness and decency, the national picture is far from kind and far from decent.’
Earlier this month Mr Hunt cautioned that the number of over-70s in Britain will rise by one million during the five years of this parliament.
At a fringe event at the Tory conference, he said: ‘We’ve got to ask whether we need to make it easier for people to have their elderly parents living with them.’