You’re probably aware of the recent coverage by the national press of the dramatically rising cost of care homes and nursing for the elderly. According to an investigation by the Citizens Advice charity, care home fees for the elderly surged by an average of £900 last year alone, and in the East of England by an average of £2000. The research also found that average annual fees for elderly nursing care in England leapt by £1,872 to £40,248 in the financial year 2014 to 2015.
Elderly people given less than a week’s notice of increases
Furthermore, almost one in ten elderly people were given less than a week’s notice before seeing steep increases in their bill, with most of the others given less than a month. That means last year around 22,000 older people and their families were given days to adjust to the rises.
Families forced to sell home and assets to pay for care
Under the current system, local authorities will only pay the whole care bill if the resident has less than £14,250 in savings and assets, and will help pay if they have less than £23,250 and residents who have more than this must pay the entire cost themselves. This means families are often forced to sell homes and assets to pay for care if they do not qualify for local authority help.
A recent headline in The Observer on the 7 August 2016, “Elderly should sell homes to fund care, say top May aide”, highlights the seriousness of the situation. New Government policy now appears to promote the fact that people should spend their children’s inheritance – in the form of the family home – to cover the costs of their care.
Self- paying care home residents subsidise others
And what’s more, local authorities are capping the amounts they are prepared to pay care homes. This means that people who pay for their own care – because their property and other assets disqualify them from local authority help – carry the greater burden of costs, because care homes are unable to increase their income relating to local authority-funded residents.
As well as many elderly people preferring the independence and dignity of remaining in their own homes for as long as is safe and practical to do so, it’s also becoming apparent that it could be a more financially beneficial option as well.
ARC Angel is designed to offer a cost-effective and non-intrusive solution that enables a carer or family member to discreetly monitor an elderly person in their own home. It can be used either on a standalone basis or as part of an individual’s care package within the home to provide round-the-clock assurance for family members.
Clearly, the longer an elderly person can remain in their own home it not only helps them retain their independence, but also their hard-earned financial assets too!