Young look to state to fund elderly care

While more than half of the population think they will need some form of care in later life, almost as many have no idea how they will fund it.

A poll found that 99 per cent of people do not want to live in a care home if it can be avoided but only a minority would consider possible alternatives such as downsizing to a smaller house before the need arises.

The research carried out by YouGov found that only a third of those who said they planned to remain in their own home expect to meet the cost of any care they would need through their own savings or investments.

By contrast four out of 10 said they expected the state to meet the costs.

The research was carried out on behalf of Audley Retirement, a company which builds and runs retirement villages.

Its chief executive, Nick Sanderson, said: “People don’t really want to engage with this - it is something that they hope won’t occur but have an expectation that somehow, magically it will be looked after.

“Ninety nine per cent do not want to go into residential care if there is a better alternative, the majority will say of course they want to stay in a home of their own.

“They do generally think that a combination of the old family GP, district nurse, family and others will all somehow look after them.

“It is quite an old fashioned view but that is still their expectation – I think it is more hope than expectation.”

The poll found that, when presented with the option, more than half favoured the option of downsizing to specialist housing as a potential alternative to a care home.

Last year an official commission chaired by the economist Andrew Dilnot set out proposals for how care for the elderly could be paid for in the future.

But Mr Sanderson said: “These findings illustrate how flawed the debate on long term care has been.

“Government and the Dilnot Commission have focussed on how we find a funding fix for the current model of residential care provision, yet as these findings show, it is a model no one wants.

“We have to listen to how people want their future care needs and invest in viable alternatives that meet people’s aspirations for independence, control and dignity in later life.”

Sourced from the Telegraph, 23rd April 2012.