Care minister calls on volunteers to help elderly

Volunteers will have to step in to help neglected elderly people because the state and modern families are unable to cope, a minister has said.

In an age when many older British people are rarely visited by their relatives and live lonely lives "the state can't do it on its own," Norman Lamb, the care and support minister told the Financial Times (£).

Volunteers called on to help the elderly. Credit: PA

He said there was "an overwhelming case" for volunteers to fill the gap left by "the dispersal of the extended family" and called for "a 21st century version of Neighbourhood Watch" to combat isolation.

He insisted he did not see the involvement of volunteers as a cost-cutting option.