I was very gratified to see that the Dilnot Report into funding care for the elderly has been much in the news since it was issued on 4 July and looks like it won’t be swept under the carpet by the Government. Previous administrations have quickly buried reports urging the state to fund a bigger share of Long-Term Care Fees so the burden on the elderly and their families is reduced.
Economist Andrew Dilnot recommends:
- Allowing a person to keep assets of up to £100,000 before they have to fully fund their own care, rather than £23,250 as now.
- Capping lifetime contributions to social care costs to between £25,000 and £50,000, with £35,000 preferable.
- People contributing a maximum of £10,000 a year to their food and accommodation costs whilst in residential care.
In my experience very few elderly people or their families have any knowledge or experience in arranging care or, just as important, how to fund it. The report suggests local authorities could take a key role in pointing people to suitably qualified Financial Advisers
for much-needed financial advice. This would be a breakthrough, as council and GPs have been reluctant to do this in the past.
One of the best places to find a suitable Independent Financial Adviser is on the website of the not-for-profit Society of Later Life Advisers whose rigorously vetted members specialise in this subject: www.societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk
A real boon would be the return of pre-funded Long-Term Care funding contracts, which UK financial institutions will hopefully offer again if the Dilnot Report is implemented. That would greatly assist the public in planning for a comfortable and stress-free old age. Watch this space for more information.