Elderly at risk as care home fees rise

According to a study by Prestige Nursing + Care, the annual cost of a care home for elderly people has risen to over £30,000 annually, increasing well above the rate of pensioner incomes.

The five-year study found that many pensioners were capable of funding less than six months’ care, leading to an annual shortfall of £16,500. The increase has risen by nine per cent over the past year, 16 per cent since 2012.

The study found that the most expensive care homes cost an average of £38,896 per year and that home care could save pensioners over £20,000 per year.

Jonathan Bruce, managing director of Prestige Nursing + Care said: “Cuts to social care now also mean the vast majority of people will have to find the funds to cover the cost of care themselves, which makes it more important than ever that people start to plan their care in advance. The lack of awareness of these issues, and appetite to tackle them, illustrates the need for a sensible and mature debate on the value our society places on care.

“Those with assets below the means testing threshold will continue to be supported through local authority funding, but this research highlights the escalating costs for those above the threshold as the low interest rate environment leads to reduced monthly income as care costs escalate.”

Bruce added: “The challenge of paying for care in later life needs a broad range of options, of which access to home care is a fundamental part of the solution. Particularly for those with lesser care needs, home care is a much more financially attractive option that potentially offers huge savings.

“People with complex health and medical conditions can also be treated at home – so this option can be used widely, helping to ease the burden the ageing population places on the NHS.”