Editor’s Viewpoint: Public Unprepared for the Financial Costs of Care

moneyA very belated happy New Year to you all!

Once again the issue of social care costs has been headline news. We receive many press releases and articles relating to this subject from industry observers and professionals.

One in particular which appears on our website highlights, in my opinion at least, the unfairness of the system. In our issue which has just been distributed we included an article highlighting that the British public are unprepared for the financial cost of care. It was an article from home care provider Prestige Nursing & Care which revealed that over 70% of people surveyed expect that either they, or a close family member, will be in need of social care within the next 10 years, and are “resigned to having make do with whatever they can afford”. Even if it is not what they would prefer or best suited to the requirements.

The article went on to say that 30% who expect to need care have no idea how they will pay for it, and that just over a quarter of people believe that they will be able to pick and choose from care services without having to worry about the cost. The article produced a table highlighting services which people would be perfectly willing to pay for, if they need them. The list included taxis, gardeners, cleaners, personal shoppers, and the astonishing revelation was that paying for a care-worker figured significantly low down the table.

This for me links to the article I have highlighted above, which reveals that self funders/private pay care home residents are picking up the shortfall of £1.3 billion in council paid care home fees.

The article rightly calls the 1.3 billion shortfall a “hidden care tax”. The injustice of this is astonishing self-funders are having to pay a staggering £8000 a year more to cover the shortfall.

I did say in another article that while the short-term solution looks almost impossible to solve without huge tax increases, in the long term, it will all be about preparation! We will, I believe, be forced to pay into a fund or insurance policy to cover all or part of our care and it will be compulsory. The unfairness highlighted above should not be allowed to continue, and again, as the article points out, is likely to increase this year as providers seek to recover increased costs.

On a more positive note, I would also take this opportunity to thank you for the great “feel-good” stories we continue to receive! From openings to awards, theme nights and anniversaries, and in particular with our latest issue, the wonderful stories of World War II heroes being honoured with medals for their bravery.

Please keep them coming. We are always absolutely delighted to print them!

As always, we would encourage all our readers to keep reading this site, to follow us on Twitter for all the latest stories posted daily and to subscribe to our newsletter to get all the latest news delivered directly to you!

Peter Adams
Editor of The Carer