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
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.