A public enquiry has concluded that basic care for the elderly in their own homes is of such a lowly standard that it actually braches human rights at times.
Conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the review uncovered examples of abuse, theft and neglect, in addition to disregard for privacy and dignity.
On numerous occasions, the review noted, support for basic tasks such as washing and dressing was "dehumanising", adding that it left elderly people "stripped of self-worth".
EHRC commissioner Baroness Sally Greengross, who led the report, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Two messages came out loud and clear. This poor care mustn't continue.
"And one of the ways to stop it continuing is to close the loophole, which means that any care that's commissioned by a local authority or another public body should come under the Human Rights Act so people are protected from abuse."
At present, there are almost 500,000 people who are recieving council-funded support in their own homes.