South West Top For No Future Planning And Highest Costs For Care
More than three-fifths of people in the South West are not saving for future care home fees and have no plans to, according to findings from a new YouGov poll that sees the South West come top of those not planning for the future.>
The survey commissioned by Irwin Mitchell reveals just one-fifth of South West adults plan to save for care home fees. The news is a shock for a region with one of the highest weekly care home costs in the UK at £977. When asked, locals estimate the cost at £698 - a £14,534 underestimation over 12 months.
The research comes as a government green paper on the subject due in 2017 shows no sign of being published, yet the findings suggest a conversation is urgently needed to make people aware of the facts and reach over three fifths of people who have no plans to save for their future care.
The South West faces the same pressures on care provision as the rest of the UK. Bath’s social care budget is expected to be cut by £2.3 million in 2019/20; while some areas are characterised as ‘care deserts’, with more than 60% of nursing homes already having no places and the South West among the worst affected.
Fees from self-funders are even reported as being used to top up the cost of care for others, but even this has not been enough to prevent care home closures in the region. The long-awaited view of the government on the future in a proposed green paper are over two years late and people need to take responsibility for care into their own hands.
The YouGov survey showed a national crisis across the board when it comes to care home fee planning, with 80% of the country not currently saving for any fees in later life, leaving expert lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell concerned for the future.
Expert Opinion“Throughout the UK, people are going to need to start taking ownership of their plans for their care in later life. Some literally cannot afford to wait for the government’s proposals, with no guarantee any effective legislation will be in place any time soon.
“Planning now is the only way to secure the sort of care you would wish to have, while giving yourself the best possible chance of having something left to pass onto family. While 60% say they are ready for their home being sold to pay for care, for others that is unimaginable.
“We are all going to have to dip into our pockets more for long-term care. It’s something we don’t like to talk or think about, but we need a conversation in the region or some of us are in for a very unpleasant surprise when our time comes to need or rely on such services.” Stewart Stretton-Hill - Senior Associate Solicitor