People in Britain are “oblivious” to the cost of adult care and the likelihood of their own need for care in the future, a report warns today.
The Strategic Society Centre think-tank says that the public has little knowledge of how much adult care costs.
Nearly half of all respondents to a survey said they did not know the average weekly cost of a place in a residential care home. Of those that did answer, the mean figure suggested was £396.58 – around £140 below the average fee of £531.
The survey also found that many people underestimate the probability of needing care themselves in the future. Out of 2,271 people asked , more than half believed the probability was lower than 40 per cent. Yet research suggests that 65-year-old men have a 68 per cent chance of needing care before they die, while women have an 85 per cent chance. “Voters may struggle to ensure that the quality of services provided to vulnerable members of their community is appropriate … if they do not know what their local authority pays for care,” the report warns.
Asked what price, on average, they thought their local authorities paid per week for a care-home place, 60.5 per cent said they did not know. The amount suggested by those who provided an estimate was £350.88 , when the average amount was £480 per week.