Tackling the issue of funding care in later life

11 February 2013

On Monday 11 February something rare happened: the Government made a decision about how to fund rising care costs in old age. 

The topic has proved too difficult and expensive for previous administrations to solve. That the decision has now been taken deserves to be praised. 

The key change is to the amount that an individual has to pay for care over their lifetime. This will now be capped at £75,000 per person (no cap is in place at present), after which, the state will pay care costs for the rest of the individual’s life. In addition, the means-test threshold for residential care will be raised to £123,000. This is a substantial increase from the current threshold of £23,350.

While many will call for the Government to go further – the cap is twice the level recommended by the 2011 Dilnot Commission – it is a welcome first step towards providing fairer access to care and support for older people when they need it most. Care will no longer involve unlimited costs, and this has to be welcome. It is a significant advance if thousands of people in later life no longer need to be scared of selling their homes in their frailer years. 

We recognise that this is not going to solve all of the issues with providing and funding adult social care. There is still much to do around improving the quality of care across the country. In addition, the new system won’t take effect until 2017 at the earliest and even then people still need to pay for accommodation and food costs. However, it is an important foundation on which to build and shows that we still care about our older generation. 

For further information about the care and support services provided by McCarthy & Stone in our Assisted Living developments contact us on 0800 919132.