1 in 8 people to benefit from government's elderly care cap
19th July 2013
The cap on elderly care costs that is due to be introduced in 2016 has been met with mixed reviews, but the government has recently announced that it will benefit 1 in 8 people.
This week, the government has announced details of how the new £72,000 cap on elderly care costs will work, including how people can expect the funding system to operate and what the limitations of the proposal are.
Conservative ministers have said that the cap on care costs is a solution to the crisis in the UK in terms of elderly care, but they have admitted that the level that the cap is currently set at is twice the amount that was recommended. This has meant that the number of people actually benefiting from this cap will be restricted, and Care Minister Norman Lamb has admitted that the care crisis extends beyond the help that a cap on care costs can provide alone, and that it is not designed to be the "panacea" for problems in the UK's care system.
The government also confirmed that elderly care costs will be covered by local councils in a deferred payment scheme, where the council will claim back the costs from the estate after death, a move that will ensure that older people living at home will be able to get the things that they need when they need them, whether that's a new stairlift or help with bathing.
The cap on elderly care costs and the payment method are both designed to enable people to live more comfortably in old age, demonstrating how the government is trying to make it easier for people to live in their own home. With deferred payment and a decreased risk of being forced to sell their homes to afford care, older people should be able to afford the things that they need to live at home, including everything from affordable mobility aids to money for heating.
Norman Lamb also announced that the care cost cap should encourage people to plan for the future in terms of savings, as well as influence insurance companies to provide more products to help older people cover unexpected care costs.
Criticism of the scheme has come from a number of people, including Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, who has said that "only a relatively small percentage of older people" will benefit, in particular those with extensive care needs or those who have long term conditions.
More details and responses to the £72,000 elderly care cap can be found in this article from the BBC News website.
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