The LGiU held two regional roundtable events in December to discuss ways of ensuring older people have the information they need to manage their later years. The two events, supported by Partnership, were held in Nottingham and Bristol and involved senior officers and councillors from the East Midlands and South West.
The events followed the publication of the LGiU/Partnership report, Independent Ageing: council support for care self-funders earlier in the year which showed that:
*61% of respondents to an LGiU survey did not know how many self-funders in their authority area fell back on state care;
Respondents underestimated the cost of people falling back on state care by as much as 50% compared with independent estimates of up to £1bn a year across the sector;
*Only 3% of councils told us they could provide a list of independent financial advisors who could give advice about care funding products,
*The release of the Dilnot Commission report in July 2011 has prompted a renewed debate about the future of social care funding.
While the report’s proposals should make the cost of state funding more predictable, any changes to social care funding will take time. The forthcoming Social Care White Paper in April will reveal the extent to which the Government is willing to take up Dilnot’s challenge, but implementation will be time-consuming whatever the outcome. Ensuring that individuals have the information they need to make informed decisions will be important in managing this challenge in the meantime. The roundtable discussion focused on this issue and how it can be addressed.
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