New research from Anchor – England’s largest not-for-profit care and housing provider for older people - has revealed widespread confusion around the cost of social care with the majority of people wanting stronger State support. 

Following the recent public spotlight on social care and the debate around a so-called ‘dementia tax’, Anchor has anticipated the government’s planned consultation to gauge public opinion on social care.

The research shows the need for the government to transform its rhetoric into clear policies that address the social care crisis and allow the UK’s ageing population and younger generations to plan for their futures.

Our ageing population is unprepared for older age and worried about the future 

  • Only 14% are currently saving for their care needs in later life. This is 22% less than how many were saving for care when Anchor asked in 2015
  • 72% worry they will not be able to pay for the cost of their own care, with 76% of 16-34 year olds thinking the same 
  • Two thirds (68%) worry they will not be able to afford decent care for their relatives; this jumps to 82% when asking 16-34 year olds
  • 22% wrongly believe that the state pays entirely for your care needs in later life, with this figure increasing to 33% for those age 16-34

The public want state funding for care and would like the government to introduce a social care cap, as recommended by the Dilnot Commission on future funding of care and support in England

  • 70% believe there should be a cap on social care costs
  • Almost half (47%) believe that social care, including dementia care, should always be paid for by the state

The UK is grossly underestimating the cost of staying in a care home, with a fifth thinking it is entirely state-funded

  • More than half (52%) believe average social care costs are under £30,000 a year (in reality it’s £31,200 - £36,008)
  • 29% believe average costs are just £20,000 a year 

Jane Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Anchor, said: “These statistics demonstrate successive governments have glossed over the social care crisis for too long. The failures of government to commit to a plan that meets the needs of our ageing population and future generations are now felt by all – by those let down by the health and social care sectors and those left ill-prepared and worried about funding their future and that of loved ones. 

“Since the election, the government has been quiet on social care but it’s paramount that its reform does not get lost among the long list of priorities.”

View all