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Whatever Happened To The Government’s Promised Cap On Care Costs?

14th March 2017

government’s promised cap on care costs?

The Conservative Party’s Manifesto was quite clear: “we will cap the amount you can be charged for residential care”. The proposed cap of £72,000 was due to begin (in England only) on 1 April 2016, but has been put back until April 2020.

Was The £72,000 Cap Fact Or Fiction?

In truth the £72,000 cap was always a bit of a fiction. It did not cover the hotel costs (board and lodging) of the care home so you had to pay those – typically around £300 a week – without it counting towards the cap. Worse still, the care costs which did count towards it were not the actual costs you paid: it was the amount of care the local authority would buy for £72,000. In some cases private payers could end up paying double the £72,000 before the cap kicked in and would still face paying the ‘hotel’ costs on top!

Will The Government Care Cap Ever Be Introduced?

In early 2016 the government clearly must have baulked at the estimated £6 billion cost and promptly kicked the problem into touch to within a month of the next scheduled General Election in 2020. By then the cost of residential care is forecast to rise to £1,000 a week and some experts fear that the cap may never come in at all.

What Is The Typical Length Of Stay In A Care Home?

Most people think that a care home stay will be relatively short, but statistics suggest the typical stay could be as long as eight years. Ray Hart, director of Valuing Care, says: “If you’re staying somewhere for that long the cost becomes incredibly important, and in some cases people are running out of equity in their homes” adding: “they turn to their pension and use it all purely on care home fees”.
How can an elderly person stay safe and stay put in their own home for longer?

An early-stage care solution is to install a home monitoring and alert system to keep an eye on normal movements around your loved one’s home. As you become less sure of their ability to live independently and they become more dependent on others for help, the very same system can be used effectively as part of an ‘at home’ care package to give reassurance to family members even when the paid-for carer is off-duty. A carer might charge between £15 and £20 an hour – so you could get up to 40 hours of care for the same price as the average week in a care home.

As a result, more and more middle-aged adults coping with ageing parents and relatives are seeking out assistive technology solutions to discreetly monitor an elderly person, whether infirm, disabled or with memory problems. More specifically, those who live alone and some distance away and just at the very point of needing some form or combination of care arrangements as an alternative to moving straight into residential care.

What Sort Of Elderly Person Monitoring Systems Are Immediately Available For Self-Installation?

ARC Angel is one such modern-day solution; a monitoring and alert system fitted to the home not the person, and warns a family member of changes of routine of that person around the home, changes possibly caused by being immobilised after a fall or being stuck undetected in the bath! A wireless movement sensor in each room monitors the home; it can tell where they are and how long they have been there and whether they are in or they are out. The family sets the alert criteria, and ARC Angel sends them a text if anything out of the ordinary occurs. It can be used 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. In many cases, ARC Angel costs less than one week’s stay in a care home!

Where to buy ARC Angel

ARC Angel is only available online at and rapid delivery to the UK mainland is free. For more advice and a brochure, call our UK-based Care Line on 01245 860252 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. There is a reduced price if the person you are caring for is eligible for VAT relief.

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