The 5 expensive obstacles encountered when finding a Care Home place
Many people are being let down on elderly care, as there are 5 expensive obstacles when finding a Care Home place.
People have to overcome 5 expensive obstacles when they need to find a place for a family loved one in a care home, according to a recent report by the charity Independent Age.
The warning from the charity comes amid growing concern over how long-term care is funded.
Independent Age warns that families are let down in the following ways:
· The care home means test, which says that anyone with savings or a home worth more than £23,250 must pay all their own fees, currently averaging £524 a week. The report called this ‘the worst means test in the welfare state’.
· A failure of councils to give any help or advice to the families of people with more than £23,250 in assets. This can lead to damaging and expensive mistakes in choosing a care home.
· Top-up fees. Councils pay an average of £452 a week for care home places. People in care homes which charge more are asked for top-ups, often unlawfully because councils try to pay less than their legal duty. In some cases better-off families are asked to pay top-ups of more than £300 a week. In all 55,000 families are paying top-ups.
· Different costs in different places. For example, one Council pays no more than £451 a week for care home bills. But another council will cover costs of £952.50. The varying policies mean families in the wrong place can end up paying hundreds of pounds a week more in top-ups.
The Independent Age report said that local councils responsible for running the means test and paying for the care of those who pass it are exploiting families.
People whose fees are paid by the council are allowed to keep no more than £23.50 a week to pay for extras to brighten up their life in a care home. This is inadequate.
For many, the tiny allowance means they have to rely on families to pay for much of the cost of new clothes, hairdressing, books and magazines, dry cleaning, toiletries, dental care and spectacles, and even treats like sweets and chocolates.
Last year a report commissioned by David Cameron from economist Andrew Dilnot recommended that the care home means test threshold should be set at £100,000, and no one with less wealth should be made to pay their own fees.
It also said that there should be a cap on the amount that anyone should have to pay for their care, possibly set at £50,000. However the Prime Minister, has delayed making a decision on the report.
The Independent Age report said that local councils responsible for running the means test and paying for the care of those who pass it are exploiting families and leaving many of them confused over how the system operates.