Nearly two thirds of Britons between the ages of 45 and 65 have no way of financing long-term care facilities, should they be required in older age.
A report from charity Help the Aged has revealed that 62 per cent of baby boomers have not prepared themselves financially for the onset of old age, either because they made a conscious decision not to or because they had no means of doing so.
One in five said that life was too short to worry about something that might not happen but the majority demonstrated "widespread confusion" about the issue of care of the elderly, the charity claimed.
Jonathan Ellis, the charity's senior policy manager, said: "This research highlights the worrying extent of confusion among people who are at an age when they should be planning ahead, or at least thinking about what future care needs they may have.
"The government's current complex system has added to this, succeeding only in fuelling widespread uncertainty about where the state's responsibility stops and the individual's begins," he added.
One in ten respondents wrongly assumed that the government would pay for their future care costs, while 55 per cent assumed that the average state pension of £84 would cover care costs, which actually amount to around £400 per week.
Mr Ellis said that 20 per cent of the population would need care in their old age and said that people were "deluding themselves" by assuming they would not need care facilities.
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Elderly care news : 20/09/2006