Ageing: Prepare for self-funding

Filed under: Policy,Social Care — lenand @ 9:04 am
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One of the biggest sources of health care costs is dementia, £23 billion according to Age UK.  Falls currently cost £1 billion for health and social care, rising to £2.2 billion in 2050 (AKTIVE).  Adult social care costs for the Elderly are £8.9 billion (HSCIC).  The nation cannot afford to increase funding to meet these levels of growth.

Budgets will be capped in 2016, without annual increases.  It is inevitable that more social care costs will be paid by private individuals – self-funders in the jargon.  The Dilnot Commission “Fairer Care Funding“, provides much evidence for changes in policy.

  • The current system is confusing, unfair and unsustainable. People are unable to plan ahead to meet their future care needs. Assessment processes are complex and opaque. Eligibility varies depending on where you live and there is no portability if you move between local authorities. Provision of information and advice is poor, and services often fail to join up.

To protect people from extreme care costs, Dilnot recommended capping the lifetime contribution to adult social care at £35,000, increased by the Government to £72,000.  Thereafter, people should be eligible for full support from the state.   In practice, it means that self-funding will increase and that many people will not get any state contribution to care costs.  As has been observed – there is a risk of smart people ‘gaming’ the rules to obtain earlier access to state funding.

Dilnot also recommended a statutory duty placed on local authorities to provide information, advice and assistance to all people, irrespective of how their care is funded or provided.  This must include local knowledge about care homes and care services.  In addition, people should be made aware of assisted living technology that is emerging from innovations in the Internet of Things.  Older people living independently and their distant relatives can obtain better outcomes by embracing new concepts of care.


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