Long Term Care: worried about paying for care?

Reader's Digest Editors 26 June 2018

The trend towards an ageing population in the UK has had a dramatic impact on family structures and saving practices, leading to increased demands on health and welfare services. Meanwhile, declining fertility rates entail the cost of caring for ever more elderly people will fall on ever fewer shoulders

There is no way of knowing whether you will require long term care in the future but it is probable that this is something many of us will have to consider, either for ourselves or a loved one. Thinking about the emotional and financial implications and investigating the options in advance will help in the long run.

Download the free Flying Colours guide to long term care.

It is well reported that the UK is facing a shortfall in money set aside to provide for long-term care. While the state can help in times of most critical need, the system has it’s problems and health authority funding can be a postcode lottery. Local authorities are under enormous financial pressure in a time of continuing austerity and are becoming less able to assist. Increasingly, it would appear that the government expects that the majority of individuals will need to provide for the costs of their own care and those of their relatives in the future.

Placing a relative in long-term care can be a difficult and emotional decision for a family to make. Seeing loved ones unable to look after themselves in the autumn of life can be heart-breaking and financially challenging for thousands of families who are faced with funding long-term care.

"Since 2012 the annual cost of the average residential home has risen by 23.7% from £27,404 to £33,904"

Care provision is expensive and these costs are going up rapidly each year. Since 2012 the annual cost of the average residential home has risen by 23.7% from £27,404 to £33,904, and 2017 alone saw a rise of 10% from the previous year. This increase is also outstripping the incomes from pensions, which have risen around on average by 10% over the same 5 year period.*

In addition to the financial and emotional pressures, there are many options for funding long-term care to consider and they can often be complicated to understand. People will often have to make quick and difficult decisions about their own or a loved one’s care needs and with often changing policy around tax and inheritance issues, it is harder for people to make informed decisions. Long-term care can impose a financial strain on any family, and seeking the right solution is crucial.

Reader’s Digest work with independent financial advisers Flying Colours. The benefit of talking to a financial adviser is that they can help you with the following:

• Help you navigate care funding through practical, friendly, jargon free advice.

• Make sure you have access to all relevant state benefits.

• Understand your financial options through ‘self-funding’ assessment.

• Provide advice on the treatment of your property.

• Make sure the appropriate people have the correct authority to help you manage your affairs (e.g. Power of Attorney).

• Liaise with care providers, local authorities and health authorities over financial matters to make the process as stress free as possible.

For more in-depth information you can download the Flying Colours brochure on Long-Term Care here. Or you can get in touch on 0333 241 9919 to arrange a free initial consultation with one of their friendly and highly knowledgeable advisers. 

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