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Protect yourself against the cost of care

The BBC has launched a major new project entitled the ‘Cost of Care’ which aims to shine a light on exactly what costs our elderly population are facing when it comes to providing for their care.

Worryingly, the BBC’s analysis has shown that spending on care for people aged over 65 has fallen by a fifth in England over the last 10 years, despite a constant rise in the ageing population.

‘Care’ refers to a broad spectrum of support and includes everything from support in people’s homes to round-the-clock help in care homes. Those who require support have to pay for this themselves. Help is available from the Local Authority however the amount of support available is a postcode lottery, with those living in some areas not entitled to anything at all. Further, what you are liable to pay is dependent on your wealth and assets accrued over your lifetime.

This means that some people have to pay the full costs of their care with an estimated one in ten people facing lifetime costs of over £100,000.

Using official data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the Office for National Statistics the BBC released figures showing that £1,188 was being spent in 2003-4 per person over the age of 65 compared with £951 by 2013-14. This reduction of 20% has prompted experts to warn that our vulnerable people are consistently being failed.

The figures show that the population of those aged 85 and over (the groups most likely to need care) has increased by 30% between 2005 and 2014, whereas overall those aged over 65 has risen by 17% to 9.3 million. With such a vast reduction in the amount of funding available to meet the care needs of this rising section of society, charities such as Age UK are warning we are facing a Care crisis.

Shortly after the BBC released these initial findings a further update was released indicating that certain unnamed major companies have reported that there are no plans for any insurance products to help people plan for their future care needs, saying there was not enough interest in such policies. This came as a blow to many care experts who suggest this will severely affect the government’s plans to cap care costs to £72,000 from 2016, with the government picking up those costs which exceed the cap.

Government ministers had hoped insurance policies would be offered to people so they could make small payments in the decades before they reached the age when they needed care.

As ever, it is so important to plan accordingly. At Blacks we can help you in the drafting of your Wills to protect assets against care fees and we can point you in the direction of trusted independent financial advisers who specialise in planning for care fees.

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