Government Proposes Loans for Elderly Care Patients
July 11, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
Government proposes means tested elderly care patients borrow funds from councils, to be paid back with interest after their death.
The government has announced plans for the elderly to be able borrow the cash to pay for residential care from councils.
This can be borrowed before they go into a care home – but will have to be paid back when they die.
This proposed loan scheme means those who need to go into care homes and are not entitled to state funding will have their fees paid for and then ‘recovered’ from their estate. However, interest would accumulate on the loan, and there has been no mention of how unpaid debts would be handled. Anyone with assets of more than £23,250 does not get help.
Age UK says an ICM poll it conducted last week revealed that 89% of English adults believe that older and disabled people “shouldn’t have to bear all the costs for support … even if they have a small amount of savings”.
There are 152 different local authorities in England, and therefore adult social care systems. The coalition has made it clear that entitlement to services differs too widely across the country and consequently people complain of a postcode lottery of care. The government wants to set national standards by 2015.
By Sarah Leyland
[Image courtesy of Sara Yun]