Life - Articles - Entire structure of social care at risk, LGiU report warns


New Report Suggest Financial Advice is Key to Making the Care System Work

 The Local Government Information Unit today launched its ‘Independent Ageing 2013’ Report which suggests that without effective support for the 57% of older people who fund all or part of their own care (‘self funders’) the entire structure of social care is at risk.

 As part of this report, sponsored by Partnership Assurance, councils across the UK were surveyed to ascertain how local authorities interact with and support self-funders. Findings include:

 - 40% of self-funders in residential care would benefit from an existing financial product to protect their assets;
 
 - 53% of councils did not provide referral to a firm or panel of independent regulated financial advisers at or following a care needs or financial assessment;
 
 - 24% of self-funders deplete their assets to such an extent that they fall back on state funding costing local councils and estimated £425m in 2011-12;
 
 - 43% of people in care paid the full cost of their fees in 2012.

 One of the key recommendations from the report focuses on ‘the need for local authorities to establish an independent financial information and advice service, including referring to regulated financial advice’. Other recommendations include the need to improve the content of council information, develop an understanding of self-funders and work through public and third sector partners to promote access to financial information and advice.

 Commenting on the report, Chris Horlick, Managing Director of Care for Partnership said:

 “This report clearly highlights the role that regulated independent financial advisers can play in ensuring that not only do older people receive the support and information they need but also are able to live out their lives in a manner of their choosing.

 “The current care system and the proposed Care Bill provides significant opportunities for advisers to develop their businesses and provide a more holistic service to their clients. We suggest that advisers seriously consider how they can become involved in the process.”

 Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, commented:

 “Ensuring that self-funders receive the level of support that they need is beneficial for not only the individual’s involved but the entire structure of social care. This report clearly highlights that while we have come a long way over the last two years, there is still much that councils, advisers and the financial services industry can do.”

 Click here to access a copy of the report - http://www.lgiu.org.uk/publications/

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