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Independent over 50s do not want to burden families but are in denial on long term care

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Rather than becoming a burden on their families, nearly two thirds of over 50s would happily opt to move into a care home if they required round the clock care in later life.

 

A report by Saga's Care Funding Advice Service found that only 2% of the older generation expect to move in with their children if they were to require long term care in the future, exploding the myth that older people depend on their families to provide their housing and care support when it is required.

 

In stark contrast, the younger generation believes their families will look after their care when they reach old age. Almost a third of 18-34 year olds expect their families to personally provide their care, either by moving in with their children or with their children acting as carers.

 

Similarly, nearly a third of those surveyed across all age groups would prefer to provide care for their relative in their own home. Only one in seven would opt to secure a place at a care home as a first option and these would only do so as they feel that professionals would be able to provide the best level of care.

 

However, almost half of those surveyed and particularly those over 50 believe that the State should pay for the care needs for older people. Of these over 50s, half believe that as having paid taxes throughout their lifetime, the Government should provide support when they need it, and a quarter feel the Government should fund long term care as the State pension isn't high enough to fund care home fees. With these views in mind, it will be interesting to see what solution the Government proposes to this dilemma when they issue their green paper into long-term care funding later this year.

 

When it comes to funding, most over 50s would be appalled at the prospect that their children would need to provide financial support to pay for their Long Term Care with only 2% of independent over 50s expecting family members to help. But this is often necessary if people want to receive care in the home of their choice that costs more than the local authority would be willing to pay.

 

Despite this dogged independence many of the older generation, although resigned to going into care, are not facing up to the practical issue of how to pay for it and the potential consequences of not planning ahead.  Of those that do plan to fund their own care the over 50s are clearly less prepared, with less than one in ten having the money in savings, compared with nearly one in five under 35s who claim to be preparing for the cost. 

 

Despite aiming to pay for fees out of savings, many may find the real cost of care is far beyond their expectations. On average someone who requires care in a residential care home may expect to pay in the region of £25,000 per annum, a huge ongoing sum of money to find at any age, let alone in their later years.

 

Alex Edmans of Saga Personal Finance, comments: "If long-term care is required we would urge families to talk about this critical issue as early as possible, and seek professional advice as there are things that can be done to ensure that fees can be met for life and also to protect assets."

 

Long term care insurance: News update: 23/07/2009

 

Related links

 

  • Find out more about long term care insurance