At some point in our lives - if we are lucky enough to live to a ripe old age - we will rely on the care of strangers in a home which is not our own.
Indeed, most of us will probably have dealings with care homes long before we need them ourselves, as we make the emotional decision to let our elderly loved ones be looked after in a care home.
And when that moment comes we want to be assured that our elderly, frail, and indeed vulnerable relatives are actually being cared for.
While money for some might be no object for some, for most people the expense of care homes is staggering.
Then you can discover that the care is perhaps not good enough.
We’ve all read and heard too many stories detailing how elderly people suffer all sorts of indignities in too many care homes, leaving them distressed or in pain.
It’s the stuff of nightmares for families - especially when there can be no other choice.
At Which? we know that the current system isn’t working, that there’s a lack of choice while others are stuck with care homes which fail to meet their needs.
We also know that demand is going to grow rapidly over the coming years as we all live longer.
But with some parts of the UK failing to meet current demand, action is needed to tackle shortages now.
So we’re calling on the Competition and Markets Authority to confront the creaking care system.
We want the CMA to press for government action to urgently tackle the challenges people face with care homes today, to make lasting recommendations to ensure there are good care homes now and into the future across the whole country, and to deliver reforms so that people who need care have a real choice, are treated fairly and are protected if things go wrong.
It is vital that the CMA looks at the potentially huge local disparities in provision, which could reach crisis point if nothing is done. We don’t think it’s too much to ask to ensure our loved ones are cared for properly in their twilight years.
It’s time to put care back into the care system.
Remember and send me your consumer queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.