Free personal care extended to all Scots from Monday
The campaign to expand free personal care in Scotland, which was previously only available to over-65s, follows a campaign led by the widow of former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel.
Frank died in 2014, six years after being diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59.
His widow spearheaded the campaign to end the age discrimination of care and to protect families from the financial burden.
The expansion of free personal care will be introduced in Scotland from Monday.
It means anyone who is assessed by their local authority as requiring personal care will receive it free of charge.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and health secretary Jeane Freeman visited the Capability Scotland Edinburgh Hub on Friday, ahead of the extension, to meet with staff and patients who could benefit from the policy.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m very pleased that this legislation is now coming into effect, ensuring that all those who require personal care are able to access it free of charge, regardless of their age, condition or income.
“This change will help thousands of people across Scotland receive the support that they are entitled to without being impacted financially.
“I’d like to thank Amanda Kopel, Frank’s widow, for her tireless work bringing to public light the issues of personal care for under-65s.
“She has ensured this remained prominent in the public’s mind and she should feel very proud that it is now being delivered.”
Ms Freeman said: “We’ve made the necessary changes to the law, and issued clear guidance to local authorities, to clearly set out the expansion of free personal care.
“For the first time, everyone under the age of 65, who is assessed as requiring personal care, will receive it for free.
“To ensure this is delivered we’ve backed this with £30 million of new funding to local authorities across Scotland.
“This is a step change in the provision of personal care in Scotland and we’ll continue to work with our colleagues in councils to ensure it is delivered in full.”