One year after the Dilnot Commission’s report into the funding of long term care, an ICM poll reveals that 89% of English adults believe that older and disabled people shouldn’t have to bear all the costs for support with everyday tasks such as eating, washing and dressing, even if they have a small amount of savings.
This represents a wholesale rejection of the current system, in which if you have more than £23,500 in savings and need support with basic tasks like eating, washing, dressing or leaving the house you have to pay the full costs of that care.
At present, every adult in England has a one in two chance of needing care
costing £20,000 or more in life and a one in ten chance of needing care costing £100,000 or more. Once you move into a residential home the value of your house is included in calculating your savings.
Under the Dilnot proposals- commissioned by the Coalition Government – a suggested £35,000 limit would be placed on the amount of money that an individual would have to pay towards their care.
This survey gives extra weight to the Care and Support Alliance’s call to the Government for urgent reform of the social care system which leaves too many of our most vulnerable members of society without the support they need or terrified of spiralling costs.
A year after the landmark Dilnot report into social care funding, we are still waiting for the Government to publish its long awaited White Paper on Social Care and, equally crucially, plans for how a future system would be funded. The longer they hold off on reform plans, the longer older and disabled people and their families continue to go without the support they need to live decent and dignified lives.
Age UK is calling the Government to urgently deliver robust and effective change to care and support in England. The new system must be based on the principle of fairness. All those who need care and support must receive it; the quality of care must be of a standard that delivers the dignity people deserve; and the fear of incurring catastrophic costs as a result of needing long term care must be ended so that those who have worked hard all their lives do not lose everything.
The problem of care in later life will not go away and it is getting worse. Putting off the solution does not help families in England. Change must happen now.