More than 80,000 elderly people paying for private care at home or in residential homes run out of money each year and have to turn to local authorities for funding, suggests Key Retirement Solutions.
The group estimates one in four pensioners paying for care have to turn to local authorities each year. This can dramatically affect the levels of care received as well as potentially how and where it is provided. The funding squeeze applies to the estimated 165,000 paying for their own care in residential homes and around 180,000 paying for care in their own home.
That piles the pressure on local authority budgets as well as the finances of families – and Key’s findings also reveal that few are able to afford the £35,000 cap on individual contributions to care costs proposed by the Dilnot Commission on Funding of Care and Support. Just one in five of those aged 65+ believe they could pay the £35,000 and that just 2% have made financial preparations for the eventuality of suffering ill-health in retirement, the research shows.
Dean Mirfin at Key Retirement Solutions says, “Elderly people want wherever possible to remain in their own homes when they need care and they and their families want the best standard of care possible. That is clearly not happening when people are running out of money and the cost to local authorities at a time when budgets are squeezed is potentially more than £2 billion a year. Careful planning at the outset cannot conjure up money but it can help people know what their options are and what they can achieve. We also want to address the needs of those who top up their care costs privately to provide extra care at home above that provided by the local authority.”