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By Debbie le Quesne

‘More to face’ paying for own care

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According to the Daily Mail – the national paper which seems to be big on health matters – the number of older people who will be forced to pay their own care bills will double over the next 20 years to more than a quarter of a million.

The information was taken from the Local Government Association, the umbrella body for councils, which currently channels £14.5billion into providing home care for the vulnerable and also subsidises places in care homes.

The report, according to the Mail, says spending constraints and growing demand for help will mean councils will no longer provide any care apart from that which the law forces them to pay for.

The report for local authorities predicts that numbers who have to pay for their own care at home – ranging from meals-on-wheels type services, to help with washing and dressing – or meet their own care home bills, will reach 264,000 by 2030.

By then the bill to taxpayers for elderly care will have reached £26.7billion, an 84 per cent rise on current levels, it predicts.

The news must be another trumpet sounding for government ministers to put extra money into the care system. 
Goodness knows, we certainly need more funding. 

A new White Paper due next month is expected to give insight as to whether the Coalition will agree to extra  spending or continue to rely on the existing means-tested arrangement.

At present, the state starts to pay for care only when a person’s capital drops below £23,250.

The Daily Mail has been pushing to improve care for older people in its Dignity For The Elderly campaign.

Clearly there needs to be reform on funding. What’s worrying is that inevitably there will come a point, if the current purges continue, where local authority ‘duty of care’ will be seriously compromised by cash shortfalls. Where do we go then?

Product change trends – for example, Aldi instead of M&S – cannot always apply within the care sector. What is clear, unless something does change, and change soon, without urgent reform we are going to see the cost of providing social care for the elderly soaking up every last penny of council budgets.

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Written by debbielq

June 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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