WGPlus (Archive)

Is the answer to raise taxes on everyone during their working life?

41% of residents in UK independent care homes are now paying for their own care - an increase of 28.5% in the last 10 years (from 130,000 in 2005 to167,000 in 2014).  This rise is a result of the state-funded system declining while demand from our ageing population continues to rise.

The new report from Age UK ‘Behind the headlines: ‘Stuck in the middle – self funders in care homes’ is based on actual calls to Age UK’s information & advice line and highlights the real challenges many face in getting a fair deal.

The decision to move into a care home is very difficult and often made in a rush following a spell in hospital.  At such an emotional time scrutinising the fine print in a care home contract and negotiating rates is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind – but the terms set at this point will have a huge impact not only on an older person’s quality of life but also on their finances too.

The report also reveals the extent to which ‘self-funders’ are ultimately paying the price for a care system under severe pressure.  Care home providers have been increasingly financially squeezed, above all by big cuts in public funding for social care that in turn are forcing local authorities to drive down prices.  As a result many care homes are struggling to balance the books and turning to self-funders to make up the shortfall to keep their homes open.  Self-funders now on average pay between £603 & £827 a week depending on the area, compared to councils paying between £421 & £624 a week.

Researched Links:

Age UK:  Older people who pay their own way in care homes struggling to get a ‘fair deal’

WAG:  People in residential care to keep more of their money

CQC:  Your views on proposed fees for providers

No option but to pay!

Like pensions, most people don’t think about their care needs in old age

That promised ‘cap on care‘ seems further away than ever

It would cost a lot more in a hospital!

Most of us will all be ‘old’ someday

We won’t be able to afford the NHS unless we ‘solve’ this problem

Adding to the cost issue?

Kings Fund:  Older people are paying the price for cuts to social care

LGA:  Councils respond to ADASS Budget Survey 2016

LGA:  Council tax rises will not fix social care funding crisis

LGA:  Funding needed to avoid National Living Wage pushing social care services closer to breaking point

Award Winning Cycle to Work Scheme