Posted on 3.2.15 by Michael Smoult
When it comes to caring, many people are in the dark as to the true cost and for those people approaching or planning for later life, it is becoming increasingly more relevant.
In an attempt to help with care costs a “consolidation of social care legislation” will be introduced by the government in the updated Care Act which comes into force in April 2016.
Making decisions earlier means you decide who will look after your assets and welfare should anything happen to you, and a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to do just that!
Without these legal aspects in place, the person you wish to follow your intent may not be the person who ends up doing so.
This is extremely important in a world of increasing care costs, something that has been prominent in the news recently.
Care home fees could cost up to £700 per week as outlined in a recent BBC poll. Many of those now reaching Later Life will not be aware of just how high the costs of care have the potential to be, and it is unlikely they will be prepared for it, with the exception of those people with relatives who have recently needed care.
A cap on care costs at £72,000 will be introduced in an attempt to help financially! But this cap carries a limitation; it does not include board and lodging costs, only the actual costs of care AND it only considers costs after a health assessment.
So it seems that in reality, this £72,000 cap has the possibility of having little/no impact on saving money and assets, though “no one will be worse off under these changes” the government claim – according to a BBC article.
The question is, how could people long-term plan for care costs in later life and how can it be funded without losing their assets?
“It is important to use your assets effectively and efficiently whilst taking advantage of allowances and regular changes in legislation to provide additional funds where necessary, whilst also protecting them for your beneficiaries by using relevant trusts if that is important to you,” says Jan Robinson, Director & Chartered Financial Planner at Prest Financial.
There are also alternative options to care homes which often provide a less stressful delivery of care. Home Care can cost less and allows people to remain in a familiar environment throughout Later Life.
David Moore of Home Instead Senior Care said they “can offer a range of tailor-made services to support people to remain in their own homes.” He also added, “These services are very cost-effective and encourage clients to maintain their independence for longer by promoting social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and self-care.”
Yet even with this avenue, it seems issues are raised with the Care Act, the principles surrounding the £72,000 cap apply and only the “local authority basic minimum” is covered.
What can be done…
Raising awareness of the key services that can help people to prepare, and educating people on how to use the changes to the Care Act to impact their situation will be highly beneficial to the local community.
Information on care, welfare, financial and legal aspects will be given by different service providers at our Later Life event, which is part of Gorvins Caring Week. The events are aimed at carers, dependants and anyone who needs or wants to plan for later life.
Gorvins Caring week is a week-long series of events aimed at giving something back to the community! Created by Gorvins Solicitors, we have teamed up with local organisations including two key sponsors, Together Trust and Home Instead Senior Care. Representatives from local organisations will also be on hand to provide information on care, financial planning and council welfare services.
The week is centred around two events, Tuesday 3rd March ‘Afternoon Tea’ will provide talks & information on planning for the future and Thursday 5th March Meet the Experts: ‘Drop-in sessions for Parents/carers’ will focus on carer’s more specifically.