Department of Health and Social Care
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Black Britons wrong on cost of care

Black Britons are under-estimating how much care in old age could cost them, according to a new Big Care Debate poll.

As the Government’s consultation on the future funding for long-term care enters its final week, the survey shows they were unaware that some individuals end up paying out £50,000 or even have to sell their home.

42% of Black respondents thought that if they needed intensive care in their old age that it was likely to cost them between £5000 and £10,000.

The figures also reveal that Black Britons are more likely to want to care for their parents in old age. They worry more about how they will cope and about being a burden on their own children in the future.

The Big Care Debate is giving everyone the opportunity to have their say and shape policy on the future of the care and support.

This debate affects everyone. In 20 years time a quarter of the entire adult population in England will be over 65 and the number of people over 85 will have doubled. Half of all men and two in three women will end up needing care, and if someone has more than £23,000 in savings, they will need to meet all the costs themselves.

Under the current system, the average cost of care and support is £30,000, but for someone with dementia it could be as high as £200,000. The Government wants to change this.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope, said:

“We need a fairer system that supports people whether they want to stay in their own homes as they grow old, move in with relatives or move into residential care. For this to happen, Black people, along with everyone else, have to speak up about what is important to them.  It only takes a few minutes to join in the Big Care Debate at This is the last chance before it closes on Friday 13 November.”

The Afiya Trust is working to make sure that people from BME backgrounds get the chance to have their voices heard in this debate. Chief Executive, Patrick Vernon, said:

‘Any process that enables Black Britons to have secure and supported care in older age, such as the Big Care Debate, is to be welcomed. Through our work with BME communities and social care practitioners nationally, it is clear that Black Britons can fall through the service net without access to the relevant information on personalisation budgets, which is why it is essential that they are facilitated to get their voices heard.’

The Afiya Trust is inviting comments to its own consultation on the green paper with an online survey at:

Phil Hope, Minister for Care Services, will be speaking at the Afiya Trust’s National Black Carers and Carers Workers Network conference on Tuesday 10 November.

1.       The Government has published a Green Paper setting out options for the future of social care. People across the country are having their say on these options through the Big Care Debate. For further information please see:

2.       The Afiya Trust aims to reduce inequalities in health and social care for racialised groups. The Trust is an important bridge between policy makers, service providers and BME communities as consumers of services. For further information please see:

3.       Survey carried out by Opinion Matters for the Department of Health. The table below gives relevant figures:



Black or Black British respondents 

Overall response
If you needed care and support at home as you got older, such as help going to the bathroom or washing and dressing. How much do you think this would cost? 41.8% thought it would cost between £5k and £10k 33.6% thought it would cost between £5k and £10k
Have you thought about what you would do if one or both of your parents became unable to look after themselves? 36.9% said Yes, I’m very worried about it.

19.2% said Yes, I’m very worried about it.

What would be your preference if your parents or your in-laws did need intensive care and support as they got older?

25% said I’d want them to move in with me.

11.8% said I’d want them to move in with me.

Would you be comfortable looking after one or both of your parents in their old age or one or both of you in-laws? This means things like taking them to the toilet, washing or dressing them. 60.8% said Yes 39.1% said Yes
Q26. Which of a given range of statements do you agree with when thinking about getting older? 43% said I worry about being a burden

33.7% said I worry about being a burden

For further information contact: The Department of Health Press Office: 0207 210 5221


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