Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?
|Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?
They might only be lyrics from a song, but to many people facing the prospect of old age and a life looking after themselves becoming more difficult, there is a sense of panic ringing from each syllable.
The facts are that if a person requires long-term care, the local authority must provide care if that person is not in a position to do so and there is no one else who is willing and able to do so. This does not prevent the family from making arrangements and paying themselves, but if they do not wish to do so or cannot, the statutory responsibility falls upon the local authority.
However, the big question is who pays?
The straight answer is, the care recipient is expected to pay.
If the care recipient has total assets less than £14,250, the local authority will pay the fees. With assets between £14,250 and £23,250, the care recipient will contribute towards the cost according to a scale. However, with assets in excess of £23,250, the care recipient pays everything.
How much is everything?
The average annual cost of residential care is approximately £30,000. For nursing care it rises to £40,000.
How many years can a carer recipient expect to stay in a care home?
It is hoped the care recipient stays as long as possible, but if a person stays for three years, it will cost £90,000 in a residential home rising to £120,000 in a nursing home. In other words, it is very expensive!
In a recent report called the ‘The Cost of Silence’*, it was found that 57% of respondents thought care costs should be funded by the Government. It found that 75% had never discussed the issues of care funding with their families, 38% of the over 55’s believe that they will have to sell their home to pay for care, with only 11% expecting not to pay anything. Finally one third of the under 55 age group expected that care fees could be paid for out of an inheritance from their parents. This last point suggests that this group of people have disregarded who funds care costs for their elderly parents. It will be most likely be their parents using their children’s inheritance!!
It is obvious that very few people have thought about the consequences of a family member going into care. This is even more alarming when you consider that this conclusion is similar to attitudes towards preparing Wills. Are we a nation of citizens with our heads in the sand?
All you need to do is prepare in advance. It really is a case of ‘What is the problem, and where is the solution?’
* From the report by Dickinson Dees and You Gov January 2011