Suffolk: Care home fees under estimated

PEOPLE living in the east of England underestimate how much residential care costs, according to a new survey.

Partnership, the care annuity provider, has revealed the results of its first Care Index, which found residents underestimate the cost by an average of �370 per year.

The statistics show people believe it costs an average of �28,750 for residential care when in reality it costs around �29,120.

Chris Horlick, Partnership’s managing director of care, said: “As care home fees rocket, many people are underestimating how much they will have to pay should they ever need to go into care.

“This is a matter of significant public concern. If people are not aware of the real costs of care they will not plan properly to fund them.

“This problem can only grow as the oldest in our population, who are most likely to need care, are set to increase significantly.”

The Partnership Care Index carried out more than 1,000 online interviews to measure attitudes towards long-term care across the UK.

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Helen Taylor, information manager for Age UK Suffolk, said: “This is a key issue in Suffolk, where the older population is higher than the national average.

“Following the publication of the Social Care White Paper last week, these figures illustrate the lack of awareness of the cost of long-term care but of equal concern is the fact that many people who are aware of the current system for paying for long-term care consider it both unfair and extremely complicated.

“Proposals within the Social Care White Paper have the potential to significantly improve the quality of care available and create a system that is fairer and more straightforward for older people and their families. However, the Government must face up to the crucial issue of funding.”

According to a 2012 study by Laing and Buisson, there are currently more than 400,000 elderly people in residential care, which is expected to increase to 750,000 in 2031 and more than triple to 1.5million by 2081.

Visit www.ageuk.org.uk or call 01473 359911 for more details on residential care costs.

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