Later Life Experts Say Planning Ahead More Important Than Ever
Leading care organisations have said care homes are facing a ‘cliff-edge’ if emergency funding to support additional testing for visits during the pandemic runs out in two weeks’ time.
Ministers have said they will bring social care proposals forward this year, despite the Budget being a key opportunity to unveil changes and the long-awaited white paper on social care reform delayed since 2017.
Research from Irwin Mitchell and Cebr last year found that the social care ‘tipping point’ – ahead of when the care crisis would reach a head – was 2029, just eight years away.
The research also revealed how under the current social care system, many elderly people require the support of family and friends to help pay for care; 18% of adults with elderly loved ones getting care have helped to pay for it, with the average amount totalling £5900.
Later life care experts at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell say if funding is an issue now due to the pandemic, the social care sector’s ‘tipping point’ identified in the report may come even sooner.
Expert Opinion“Our report on the care crisis from last year said the tipping point for the social care system was in 2029; unfortunately, we may even be seeing that number brought forward if the financial strain is as severe as care homes are saying during the pandemic.
“While coronavirus may have delayed the Government from taking action, urgent change is needed to avoid a complete collapse of the system in the next ten years.
“With all of the uncertainty around fees, the so-called ‘postcode lottery’ with care homes and the Government’s lack of planning for social care goes to show that thinking ahead for later life is more prudent now than ever.
“It can take all sorts of forms – saving for care; estate planning and inheritance tax planning are all ways in which to help both yourself and your loved ones in later life.” Stewart Stretton-Hill - Senior Associate Solicitor