You are here: Home - Retirement - Retirement planning - News -

Families picking up the tab for ‘free’ care home places

0
Written by:
27/07/2017
Almost a quarter of older people who are legally entitled to a free care home space are having their fees topped up by their family, according to a report by Age UK.

The report said the care system “seems to be riddled with hidden unfairness”. While an elderly person requiring residential care should be able to qualify for council funded care on the basis of their needs, significant numbers of older people fall foul of the means test, disqualifying them from financial help until they have run down their assets to £23,250.

The report stated that 48,400 older people – equivalent to 24% of council funded care home residents – were currently paying top up fees, which ranged from £25 a week to over £100. It warned the payments represented a stealth tax on older people and their families in a care system.

Age UK said that the problem was often down to an inadequate choice of care homes at the council rate. This left families forced to pay for an adequate care home place.

The Report added: “Against the context of a care system that is woefully underfunded, in which councils are struggling to fulfil their legal duties and many care homes find it tremendously hard to provide decent care for older people on council rates, top ups are at risk of being unfairly exploited, with families the biggest losers.”

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said: “Families are finding themselves in horrible situations, such as knowing that unless they pay up their older relative will have to live in a care home that is so far away they will be cut off from everyone they know.

“In some cases families are being asked to pay a lot more than they can afford and in others we have heard of families under pressure not to dispute an unfair request for a ‘top up’, when their loved one is in hospital and ready to leave, because otherwise it would take even longer for them to be discharged.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman,said: “While some people choose to ‘top-up’ their care in order to have a more expensive service, legally the local authority must ensure that people have a genuine choice of accommodation by making at least one option available and affordable within the person’s budget.”

See YourMoney.com’s ‘Will I have to pay my own care home fees?’ and ‘How to minimise the cost of care home fees’.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Percentage symbols tumble around a house
Loyal homeowners losing out after fixed term mortgages end

Rolling onto a mortgage provider’s standard variable rate after a fixed term ends costs homeowners an average of £439 extra...

Close