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Covid-19 causing over 50s to rethink care homes

According to a report by the Equity Release Council (ERC), 60% of over 50s are rethinking their care plans as a result of Covid-19.

The report found that 19% of those previously open to care homes were now erring away from it, with 38% of those looking to move either to assisted living or to smaller and more manageable properties.

The ERC said that the pandemic has amplified the underlying issues surrounding care provisions. It found that 63% of UK adults are concerned that the care system is too expensive, with 64% saying it lacks public funding and 57% saying it is not fit for purpose.

Nearly half (47%) of UK adults believe everyone should have access to state-funded care support, up to a certain level, with the option to top this up from their own finances.

The report also found that 50% of UK adults have not thought about how they will pay for long-term care if they need it in later life, rising to 55% among over-50s. While 22% of UK adults are unaware that many people have to contribute to social care costs in later life

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council said: ‘The UK’s adult social care funding crisis is one of the most pressing domestic issues facing the government and our ageing society, compounded further by Covid-19.

‘A decade on from the Dilnot Commission being set up, a range of funding solutions for the UK’s care sector are still being debated and discussed ranging from caps on care costs, increased taxation, a social insurance fund, free personal care and a National Care Service while unmet and under met care needs continue to grow as our population ages.

‘As a result, the last ten years were christened a ‘lost decade’ by research published in the Journal of Social Policy which reinforced a point made by many observers that social care is becoming unsustainable as the gap between need and funding has widened due to the lack of policy action.’

Claire Singleton, CEO of Legal & General Home Finance said:  ‘The ERC’s report highlights widespread uncertainty over the costs associated with residential care. Accessing care is a complex process that is different for everyone based on their personal circumstances.

‘One variable is where you are in the country; a recent report by Legal & General found that the cost of residential care varies by more than £800 a week in different areas across Britain.

‘Property wealth can be an important asset that many families will naturally turn to and our research has shown that the value of homes locally will most likely correlate with the amount people entering residential care can expect to pay locally.

‘On average, people can expect to pay more than £800 a week for private residential care, which is more than double the average weekly income for people in retirement (£320), according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

‘As the ERC’s research shows, the cost and complexity of going into residential care can leave some people hesitant as to whether it is an appropriate solution for them.

‘However, we also know that the demand for residential care remains high and will likely increase as the population ages.

‘Whether people choose to adapt their home to enable domiciliary care, or opt for residential care, it’s useful for people to think ahead about the options available to them when meeting these costs.

‘To tackle this growing issue, Legal & General recently launched the Care Concierge Service that lets people find care options more effectively and efficiently.’

Photo Credit – Peter Kindersley

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