Elderly still selling their homes to pay care fees


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The Independent Online

Despite government claims that it wants to end the practice of the elderly having to sacrifice their homes to pay for care costs, research shows most people are still being forced to sell up.

Nine out of 10 advisers surveyed by Symponia, care fees specialists, said the majority of their clients end up selling their homes. And most feel the Government’s attempts to solve the crisis  with a proposed “care cap” of £72,000 – announced earlier this year – is bound to fail. Six out of 10 advisers said  the care cap was “a token gesture that would not help many people as it had been set too high”.

Janet Davies, Symponia’s managing director, said: “The Coalition Government can no longer ignore the worsening crisis of the care of Britain’s elderly population.

“Our research shows that people are waiting until they are in crisis or distress before they seek advice.  But they need to plan ahead. We cannot turn away from this ticking time-bomb that will eventually affect every single person in one way or another.”

Our aging population will see  10 million people alive today reach 100. So Ms Davies advises people to start care planning in their 60s or 70s.

However, the survey shows that almost-three-quarters of people do not do so.

“That demonstrates the pressing need for government, charities and financial services to unite in educating consumers to seek advice when they are relatively young and before they reach a point of crisis,”  said Ms Davies.

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