The government has launched a six month debate about the future of care and support services.
In 20 years' time a quarter of the adult population will be over 65 and the number of people over age 85 will have doubled, putting pressure on services and the financial support they receive through benefits.
Over the next six months the government will be asking the public and stakeholders for their views about care and support.
It wants to create a new system which promotes independence, choice and control for everyone who uses it; ensures everyone can receive the high quality care and support they need; and is affordable for the government, individuals and families in the long-term.
After dithering and delaying for a decade on the crisis in social care for older people, the review holds out new promises. Particularly after the Labour Party opposed moves to widen free care for the elderly in Scotland and rejected similar ideas for England.
Even with static or falling house prices, the rise in house prices in recent years means that nearly every home owner would have to pay for care, even if state provided.
Significantly, when discussing the review, weasel words by politicians suggest that they will still demand people sell their homes if they are taken into care. The only crumb of comfort is that they are promoting care in people’s own homes, ostensibly as better for health, but in reality because it is a lot cheaper than putting people into homes.
Long term care insurance: News update: May 2008