The UK care process and care funding system are both a puzzle and a lottery, but the over 50s lifestyle specialist Saga is planning to help simplify it.
Saga has published its own single-location guide to the UK care system, which also explains how families can understand, arrange and fund care.
“There is no official, comprehensive, simple, single-location source of information to help people find their way through the currently complex and incredibly messy British care funding system,” said Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga.
“The care system in the UK is not just a lottery, it’s a puzzle to challenge Mastermind contenders and Egghead teams alike. If care and care funding were specialist subjects in a quiz, then few would know the questions to ask - let alone the answers. Just because information is in the public domain, it doesn’t mean the public knows how or where to find it.
“There are choices of types of care – domiciliary (at home), in a care home with or without nursing support, in sheltered accommodation, care which involves full-time or part-time attendance of a paid-for carer or a volunteer family member– and then there is the complex issue of care funding, which is a minefield of financial assessment, asset valuation, personal or government funding.
“There is the issue of what local authorities might pay for, what grants are available to cover, for instance, modifications to somebody’s home, or some eye-openers on how unrestricted people can be in choosing the location of a care home.
“The difference is that while TV quiz and challenge shows are about life-changing prizes, the care lottery is about life maintenance.
“For most people, care is a once-in-a-lifetime matter. The people who need to be experts – those who need care, and their families – are confused, ill-informed and they don’t know what they should know. Advice is difficult to find and the range of care options is complex and confusing.
“Many families only discover absolutely crucial points about funding long-term care when it’s too late – often when they’ve sold a family home or cashed in an inheritance they don’t need to sell or liquidate. Our guide can help avoid such pitfalls and offer proper explanations of what entitlements and costs might be.”
'The Saga Guide to Care' is free and available from 0800 015 2084.