Research by a daily newspaper has revealed that more than one million homes have been sold by families to pay for a relatives care although many of these care should have been funded by the NHS the report went on to say.
The research also found that families had been forced to take out their loans and spend their savings while the claims were unprocessed by the Continuing Health Care (CHC) system for years.
Authorities have been accused of failing to reveal funding options to save on mounting nursing costs for the elderly even though they are liable. Age UK says the complaints caught in NHS bureaucracy runs to an “industrial scale” and thousands of relatives believe health officials deliberately make it difficult for them to claim under the scheme.
Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams says: “NHS Continuing Health Care is a lifeline. However, the way you access it is incredibly complex with families embroiled in bureaucracy.
“An older person has to be in very poor health for CHC and it is tragic when families have to fight to get care rather than being able to be there with and for their loved one.”
Specialist law firm Farley Dwek said one million homes had been sold by pensioners to fund their care while another two million people had to use their savings.
The research found that CHC liabilities rose from £134m in 2011/12 to £764m in 2012/13.
“There are many distressing cases,” said Jonathan Dwek of solicitors Farley Dwek.
“Some people are selling their parents’ homes when there was no need to had they been properly assessed.
“A lot of assessments are incorrect but, if you are fighting the NHS machine, you have an uphill struggle. People due this free package are not being told and they are having to fight for it.”