14 February 2013
The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has this week announced plans for a £75,000 cap on the amount the elderly will have to pay for social care in England. He also announced a rise to £123,000 in the amount of assets people have before having to make a contribution to their care costs – this was previously £23,250.
Jeremy Hunt has said that the upper limit has been set at a figure which makes it possible for insurance companies to offer policies for people to have options on their pensions so that anything they pay under the cap is covered.
Commenting on the cap, Home Instead’s Trevor Brocklebank said, “This long-awaited announcement on the cap has, not surprisingly, been met with a mixed response.
“There is much criticism that the cap only covers ‘standard-rate care’ and that people in residential care will still receive bills for their ‘hotel’ costs.
“There is no getting away from the fact that the care system is massively underfunded and this underfunding is likely to get worse, not better. Having said that, I know that we can become much better at providing more cost-effective and appropriate care in the future.
“Gone are the days of caring for mum at home for as long as you can, then move her to a nursing or care home. The provision of care services for the elderly now includes a wide spectrum of provision including companionship care and non-medical care that can be delivered in the person’s home so is much more cost effective.
“Companies such as Home Instead are evolving and growing and changing the way we care for our elderly citizens and developing new systems to support healthy ageing. These are systems which provide age and stage appropriate prevention and care which is matched to the needs of individuals.
“I’m not saying that care at-home is going to be the panacea but the provision of more appropriate care in the future will help.
“I do feel that there is not enough recognition by individuals that they, and their families, will need care in the future. Now that the government has set out its stall, individuals and their families can plan ahead.”