Lat­est re­search on peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the true cost of care

The Wokingham Paper - - HEALTH - with Ni­cola Strud­ley Ni­cola Strud­ley, works two days a week as the man­ager for Health­watch Wokingham Bor­ough. Opin­ions ex­pressed in this blog are her own

WE all know the cost of hav­ing to stay in a care home is high but new re­search from Which? finds that more than half the pop­u­la­tion, se­ri­ously un­der­es­ti­mate just how ex­pen­sive care homes can be – on av­er­age, by the equiv­a­lent of £12,000 a year.

One in 10 un­der­es­ti­mated the true cost by a whop­ping £737 a week, or £39,000 a year. This places peo­ple at risk of fi­nan­cial prob­lems or left strug­gling to get good qual­ity care in later life.

Around one in 10 older peo­ple with care needs now face care bills of more than £100,000. Pre­vi­ous Which? re­search has shown that only one in 10 adults aged 55 or over say they’ve put aside money to pay for care needs as they get older. Many peo­ple worry that they will have to sell their house to pay for care.

Com­ment­ing on the Which? re­search, Imelda Red­mond, Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Health­watch Eng­land, said: “These find­ings paint a stark pic­ture of just how un­pre­pared peo­ple ac­tu­ally are should they need care in their old age. Our own re­search has shown that just one in 20 peo­ple con­sider them­selves fully ready to deal with any fu­ture care and sup­port needs.

“When it comes to choos­ing a care ser­vice, peo­ple tell us the most im­por­tant thing is to be able to com­pare the costs and qual­ity of dif­fer­ent lo­cal providers. But the cur­rent in­for­ma­tion gap is not mak­ing it easy on peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly when we con­sider that these de­ci­sions come along at a dif­fi­cult and often deeply emo­tional point in our lives.”

The care sys­tem can be con­fus­ing and daunt­ing and must often be nav­i­gated at a time of great stress for older peo­ple and their fam­i­lies. That’s why it’s vi­tal that peo­ple have ac­cess to tools and re­sources to help them plan for the fu­ture

Which? has launched a free on­line cost of care and el­i­gi­bil­ity checker, to help you and your loved ones eas­ily cal­cu­late the likely cost of care in your area, as well as el­i­gi­bil­ity for lo­cal-au­thor­ity sup­port and fund­ing op­tions.

We often get asked for sup­port on choos­ing a care home, col­leagues at Health­watch Dorset have put to­gether a short guide, which in­cludes Five Steps to choos­ing a Care Home, in­clud­ing know­ing what op­tions are avail­able to you, what the dif­fer­ence is be­tween dif­fer­ent types of Homes, and what fund­ing might be avail­able.

The Guide also has tips on what to look out for when vis­it­ing a Care Home, and what ques­tions to ask.

There are two good web­sites for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion: Ageuk.org.uk and The­moneyad­vice­ser­vice.org.uk

Let Health­watch know your views. Get in touch:

Phone: 0118 418 1 418

Web­site: www.health­watch­wok­ing­ham.co.uk

App: Speak Up Wokingham (Free to down­load from Ap­ple or Google Play)

E-Mail: en­quiries@health­watch­wok­ing­ham.co.uk Face­book: @health­watch­wok­ing­ham

Twit­ter: @HWWok­ing­ham

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