The biggest area of spend for local authorities is caring for the elderly.
Today, the Dilnot report puts forward proposals which attempt to deal with the question; how do we ensure we can afford decent care for our elderly?
By 2074, there will be over 1 million people aged over 100 living in Britain. In March LGiU published Independent Ageing – a research report which looked at the future funding of adult residential care. We discovered that people who self-fun end up fal back on state provision occurring a cost to councils up to £1 billion a year.
The Dilnot report is expected to propose that a cap be placed on the amount that any individual pays towards their care – somewhere between £35,000 and £50,000, or a third of a person’s assets, depending on which is the lower.
It’s hoped the cap will allow the insurance market to expand to fund care home places, pooling the risk among a wider group and reducing the numbers forced to sell their homes.
A better market for insurance to meet care costs is what LGiU argued for in Independent Ageing. Councils have a role to play in this – they should do more to signpost people to independent financial advice that could help them not to deplete their funds by taking out insurance or using their assets more effectively.
What remains to be seen of course is whether the government acts on Dilnot’s recommendations. We’ll reserve full comment until we’ve read Dilnot’s report but we’ll certainly be pressing for bold action to meet this fundamental social challenge.