A new Which? report reveals only a minority of people are saving for their care later in life, despite the high costs involved.
The report says one in 10 people face care costs over £100,000 but the vast majority are currently not saving to pay for care later in life.
12% of adults, aged 55 or over, have put money aside to pay for future care needs. But more than half of the people interviewed said they were prioritising other things they wanted or needed to do over planning for care. Only 34% have discussed their preferences for care in later life.
Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said: “We want a social care system that works for anyone who comes to require support later in life – acknowledging that people are unlikely to plan for their care and supporting them to stay independent for longer.”
Which? is now calling on the Government to use the social care green paper, due in the autumn, to create a social care system that works for consumers and helps them make positive living choices – before it reaches crisis-point.
The company’s research signals any policy proposals in the social care green paper that put the burden of planning for care on ordinary people may be doomed to fail.
“The broken social care system cannot continue to fail older people and their families in delivering high-quality, affordable care when they most need support,” said Mr Hayman.
The report asked people to think about what changes they would be willing to making if their health and mobility did worsen, and this was the results: 92% would make adaptation to their homes and aid mobility, such as installing a stairlift or low-cost aids and 83% would use outside mobility aids such as a scooter or walking stick
The Which? report also found Google was people’s preference to their first port of call for care options before speaking to their local GP, friends or family. It was also found that fewer than 10% would contact their local authority, the Care Quality Commission or a social worker first. GP’s were the most trusted source of advice on care and support for older people.
Which? surveyed 2,104 UK adults and 793 were aged 55+ in June 2018.
The report was carried out as part of an in-depth Which? report called Beyond social care: keeping later life positive.
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