A new report published by Key has revealed that many over 55s are turning to their property by seeking equity release advice for help with care costs. This is down to cuts in funding made by local councils.
The cuts have come at one of the worst times, leaving many older people concerned about how they will afford their care in older age. Here, we’ll look at how much funding has been cut and how it is impacting the over 55s.
How much has funding been cut?
Research has revealed there has been a 10 per cent drop in how many people are receiving funding for long-term care. This is based on councils in England, Wales and Scotland.
Interestingly, not all councils have cut funding. In fact, some have actually increased the amount of funding provided to support elderly care. Shropshire council for example, have increased their funding care homes by 10 per cent.
The cuts have been blamed largely on Covid-19. Many councils have struggled with underfunding prior to the coronavirus crisis. So, the additional funding provided throughout the crisis to local councils, simply hasn’t been passed on to care homes.
The impact reduced funding is having on the over 55s
The cut in care home funding couldn’t have come at a worse time. A new study has revealed the devastating impact the virus has had in care homes across the country.
Care homes were frequently pressured into accepting patients who had tested positive for coronavirus. They didn’t have the right level of PPE and simply didn’t have the funding to cope with the increased demand. So, the fact many councils have now cut funding further is a huge concern.
The over 55s are rightly extremely worried about the impact this will have on their care. Many are feeling forced to look at other options such as equity release. A staggering 29 per cent of respondents to Key’s survey stated they were going to use their homes to pay for their care. This comes after the Key report revealed only 20 per cent of over-55s has financial provisions to pay for the care they need. Only 6 per cent of people believe they have enough to pay for their own care.
The CEO of Key, Will Hale, states:
‘Today’s figures suggest that between 2017/18 and 2018/19, we have seen a 10 per cent fall in the number of people councils are providing full or partial care funding for, but this may only be part of the picture. Indeed, we know that councils are working hard to support local residents who need care but are facing tough financial challenges and may need to make difficult choices’.
He also went on to state how vital it was that the government prioritise the issue. The fact we are living in an aging population makes it a worrying challenge for the government. More people are going to need long-term care, which means a lot of changes need to be made if their care is going to be funded.
Right now, the over 55s are worried about how they will be looked after in later life. This isn’t something anyone should have to worry about when they have spent their entire lives working and contributing to the economy. Unless the government address the issue, it could prove devastating in the not too distant future.