Care Fees - Confusion Causing Concern

The Conservative Manifesto has laid out that the amount of resources to be disregarded when calculating state contribution to residential care will more than quadruple to £100,000. It is currently £23,250. This amount includes the value of property, including your home (unless certain circumstances apply). On the face of it, good(ish) news!

However exactly the same criteria will apply to people receiving home care (care at home) which previously did not include the value of the home. As you are living in the home whilst receiving care, there is no imperative to sell it - your bill will be settled after death, which might mean selling it then, but might mean your family decide to pay the bill and keep the house.

This is being characterised in the media as a 'death tax', a 'dementia tax' and other derogatory terms. It is said to be undermining the changes made by the previous government on inheritance tax. In fact, it is not a tax at all - it is settling a bill run up in someone's lifetime from their estate.

Even the idea of a bill, paying for someone's care, is anathema to many who consider that the need for care caused by old age should be met by shared risk - that is, a tax on the general population, in the same way that we pay for the NHS. It is argued that the need for care cannot be predicted and it is an unfair lottery as to whether you will need care or not. We need to share the risk as we do of anyone being ill. We should all pay.

But in fact, in many cases we already do. There was a scandal in recent months about older people not being able to be discharged from hospital. Care services were going out of business at the same time, due to the level of fees local authorities would pay.  The cost of older people's care in hospital was (and is) being borne by all of us through the tax we pay. It was shown to be incredibly expensive - about four time the cost per week of a place in residential care. 

So how can we make that money available to social care budgets? Is the care in community model a way forwards? It had its shortcomings, but no doubt lessons have been learned! Can we attach money from NHS budgets, currently used on older people's care, to each individual, to pay for their care elsewhere?

What are your thoughts about how to resolve the care fees dilemma? email us at info@care-co-operative.co.uk. 

In the meantime, join us, and obtain discounts from forward thinking care providers who want to attract self funders to their services to ensure they can maintain the quality of care they provide!