Charity calls for free care to eliminate ‘catastrophic’ costs for elderly


Independent Age has called for the introduction of free personal care to eliminate ‘catastrophic’ costs on elderly people.

In its new report, the charity calls on the government to scrap the idea of a costs cap and make care free for all who need it.

George McNamara, director of policy at Independent Age, said: “It’s time for the government to scrap the idea of a cap.

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“Catastrophic costs may not be a term used by many older people but we know that many have an ever-present fear of losing their life savings or homes.

“The government has a duty and responsibility to act. Free personal care, in contrast to the proposed caps, will end the worry of losing everything to fund care. It’s simple, fair and affordable.”

The report reveals that more than 143,000 people, or a third of the 421,000 in residential care, are likely to face bills of £100,000 or more.

Independent Age says a £100,000 care cap would affect just 5% of people and was only relevant after eight and a half years in care.

A £72,000 cap would help 12% of residents and would only take effect after six years and one month in care, the report found.

A lower £35,000 limit would support 36% of the elderly spending three years or more in care.

The average length of stay in a care home is 22 months.

Steve Ellis, CEO, Legal & General, Retail Retirement Living Solutions said: “With Britain’s over-55s owning £1 trillion in housing wealth, the lifetime mortgage market is well placed to help retirees cover the costs of social care.  In today’s retirement where a generation is approaching later life cash-poor but asset rich, lifetime mortgages can provide people with the capability to remain in their homes and maintain their independence for longer, but also pay for the care they or a loved one needs.”

 



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