Extracts from the Telegraph:
"The drastic tightening of rules affecting which elderly people qualify for state-funded care in their own homes has left hundreds of thousands bereft of help and in dire straits, a report published on Tuesday is expected to say.
The report, by the care watchdog, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, comes as dozens of councils in England start to "pay by the minute" for care which elderly people receive in their own homes.
The CSCI will highlight an appalling lack of provision for the elderly and say that while many services are improving, others are absent or do not rise much above national minimum standards."
"Seven in 10 councils in England have been forced to "ration" services since Labour came to power.
Most town halls now provide services - including meals-on-wheels, trips to day centres and home visits from social workers - only to pensioners with "substantial" or "critical" needs.
Lack of funding means many councils help only those who are seriously ill or incapacitated. In some cases, pensioners have had to sell their homes to help pay for private care, or ask their families to pick up the bill."