Care home fees

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Carers UK has issued a statement in response to the Conservative announcement of a policy for payment of residential care fees.

Commenting on the Conservative party's new policy to prevent people from selling their homes to pay for residential care, Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: "Following the Prime Minister's announcement on free personal care for the elderly last week, we are now starting to see a political consensus emerging that the crisis in our social care system must be tackled."

"We welcome the fact that the Conservative party has started to make social care an election priority. This sort of policy takes the first steps in recognising some of the problems in a social care system which many people will need at some point in their lives, but so few plan for. However we also need to see more concrete proposals for funding care in people's own homes, as this is where most people are cared for, and where over time the costs of care grind down family finances."

She added: "Care has to be seen in an economic context, the inadequate system we have today means that looking after frail elderly relatives is mostly done by family members with significant impact on their ability to continue to work and save for their own retirement. With an ageing population there is a growing need for people to work longer, with more having to juggle work with care. To keep people working, it is vital that families are supported by affordable, high quality social care support in the home and we want to see more bold moves from the Conservative party on this issue."

The Conservatives announced their new policy on residential care on Saturday 3rd October. The proposals would involve a new voluntary scheme with a one off joining fee, estimated at around £8,000 to be paid at age 65, in return for a guarantee that all fees for permanent residential care would be waived for life.