Concerns over the cost of elderly care


As the government works on plans to reform the social care system, a new survey has revealed that two thirds (67 per cent) of adults over 35 are concerned about the future cost of care and accommodation facing them or an older member of their family.

Timed to coincide with the launch of FirstStop - a new service for older people, their families and carers seeking advice on care, housing and finance - the survey follows recent analysis that showed that older people find accessing information about social care difficult and confusing.

The care funding system, which varies across the UK, is notoriously complicated and constantly changing.

As a result, many older people and their families are struggling to navigate a maze of information. Of those questioned in the survey who had recently been involved in a decision about care and accommodation:

*         61 per cent said they felt worried that they’d made the wrong decision about care
*         44 per cent said they found it difficult to find sources of independent help and advice
*         Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) said the process would have been much easier if they could have accessed information from one source.

The cost of care could be the biggest financial burden many people will ever face. Residential care home fees have increased by 51.5 per cent in the last five years and costs are predicted to double in the next 20 years.

The survey was conducted by three of the UK’s leading charities - Help the Aged, Counsel and Care, and the Elderly Accommodation Counsel – as well as NHFA (specialist independent financial advisors) for the launch of their collaborative advice service FirstStop.

FirstStop is a gateway to free, independent information and advice about all aspects of care, housing and finance for older people.

Care advice is currently an unmet need for millions of older people. FirstStop estimates that 1.25 million people in England could potentially benefit from housing advice and over half a million could be seeking information about care issues at any one time.

Many older people are not aware of their entitlements and the different options available to them and as a result, can often end up receiving care unsuited to their needs or missing out on help.






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