07 Feb 2012
Millions of Britons ignorant of care costs
Over 11 million Britons risk poverty in old age as they are unaware they may have to pay for their own social care.
Figures from older people’s care and housing charity, Anchor, reveal almost one in four (24%) Britons are unaware that the Government does not fully fund social care for older people - and as a result don’t have any savings in place for this purpose.
Just six per cent have begun to set money aside to fund their future care needs. Yet under the current system, half of those aged 65 are expected to pay bills of up to £20,000 and one in 10 are expected to pay costs exceeding £100,000 .
When presented with the reality of the current system, Britons reacted badly. Only 8 per cent said they would be willing to sell their home – but thousands must do exactly that..
The figures reveal how the current care crisis is going unnoticed by many until it is too late for them. Despite the current debate about the Dilnot Commission on Funding of Care and Support’s recommendations, half of over 55s (51%) don’t know the a cap on care funding may be introduced, with the same being true for 75 per cent for those aged 25-34.
Nearly half (48%) agree that the Government needs to do more to raise awareness of the fact that older people may have to contribute to their own social care costs. Many are disappointed by the Government’s response to the care crisis – 45 per cent said that a decision about the funding of social care for older people should have been made sooner.
Anchor is calling on the Government to break its silence and speed up its decision on introducing a cap on care costs so it can begin educating the public on when and how much they need to save.
Chief Executive, Jane Ashcroft, said: “These figures lay bare the scale of the care crisis. It has been all too convenient for politicians to allow it to remain hidden from individuals until it is too late. It is essential that the Government acts now to reform this broken system.
“Too often, people only learn that they have to pay for their care at the point they need it. This is a national crisis, which is relevant to each of us irrespective of our current age. The Government must not be allowed to ignore this.
“Three months ago, we handed a 137,000-strong petition to Number 10, calling for the Government to appoint a dedicated Minister for Older People to deal with this and other urgent issues raised by demographic change. Many who signed the petition said social care funding should be a top priority for the Minister.”