Latest research on people underestimating the true cost of care
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
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