Debate:- Funding social care for older people- The Gathering Storm

22 July 2012

The question of how to best fund care of frailer older people in their latter years remains unresolved. Current rules require all older people with assets above £23,250 to personally fund all care requirements and all assets [including property] are included in financial assessments. The arrangements have been criticised by many for forcing those who have worked hard to build assets through their life to

In the past 13 years there had been two independent commissions, three public consultations and now three white papers. The latest of these, the Dilnot report, called for a system for the elderly whereby there was universal coverage: the total cost of care would be capped at £35,000 with social support for old people extended to those with assets of £100,000, incurring a total estimated cost of £4.2 billion in 2025.

The social care issue is thorny and has multiple facets:-

  • Can we afford it? - the present economic climate brings to harsh reality the ability of the welfare state model to provide for all aspects of life on limited resources
  • Who should fund it? - the government, families or the third sector
  • Universal coverage? - Should any legislation cover all people without any exclusions or prejudice? What happens to those, with financial means, who do not wish to contribute to their own care?
  • Financial fairness? - What is "fair"?  Who should pay? How much should they pay?
  • Equity of provision across the UK? - How do we minimise variability in how legislation and policies are exercised between regions?

What are your views on funding for long term care? Join the debate.

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