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More people turn to mobility aids with care funding cuts

1st November 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The London School of Economics has warned that around 340,000 elderly and disabled people will receive no assistance towards the cost of care in future. This could result in people turning to other sources of government funding to put towards the installation of home stairlifts, ramps, grab rails and other home adaptations.

The Telegraph has reported in this article that recent government reforms have meant that hundreds of thousands of older people will not get the financial support they need to pay for care services at home or care home fees. Although the coalition pledged to limit the cost of care for everyone, the eligibility criteria for financial help are reportedly so restrictive that only the most vulnerable people are receiving help with their care costs.

One of the biggest current reforms is the cap of care costs at £72,000, with the government paying for anything over this; however, a closer look at the details of the plans shows that only those with "'substantial' or 'critical' needs" will in fact receive help. This means that there would be no financial support for those with “moderate requirements”, which includes help with showering and dressing.

This limited financial help towards the cost of care could lead to many people applying for the Disabled Facilities Grant to pay for adaptations to be made to properties that can help them manage some of their care themselves; for instance, a new walk in shower could help someone to wash themselves - a task that is deemed to be a "moderate requirement". Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb says that local councils decide who is given care funding and that "from 2015... councils will be able to set a more generous level" of who is eligible for help. Until then, however, adaptations to the home environment could significantly help elderly or disabled people manage their mobility difficulties and care.

Image Credit: HowardLake (flickr.com)