Elderly care costs set to rise by 315%

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The Independent Online

The cost of long-term care for the elderly is to rise by more than 315 per cent in real terms over the next 45 years as the number of people living into their 80s and beyond continues to rise.

The cost of long-term care for the elderly is to rise by more than 315 per cent in real terms over the next 45 years as the number of people living into their 80s and beyond continues to rise.

According to a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the number of hospital beds, and residential and nursing care home places will also need to increase by 150 per cent to more than 1.1m to cope with the soaring demand.

Commenting on the report, Philip Spiers, a director of the Nursing Homes Fees Agency, said the majority of the rising costs will have to be borne by the individual, with the Government already struggling to keep up with the rising UK care bill. He said more people will be forced to sell their homes and use savings to pay for care.

"The picture doesn't look rosy if you take into account other factors, such as the alarming drop in care-home capacity, which can only force prices up if following normal market trends," he said. "But all is not lost if older people or their families seek advice if the need arises to maximise state assistance and benefits and consider options for meeting care costs."

Lord Best, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "It is seven years since the Foundation's inquiry into paying for long-term care highlighted the implications for care services as life expectancy increases and those born in the post-war baby boom reach old age.

"The major problems our inquiry anticipated as demand for nursing, residential and home care increases have intensified. The potential for a four-fold increase in spending identified by this report should make politicians and policymakers stop and think carefully. We all need to consider what changes could be implemented now if we are to ensure people now in their 30s, 40s and 50s can be sure of a high standard of care when they need it in old age."

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