Independent Age has repeated its call for the introduction of free personal care to eliminate ‘catastrophic’ costs on elderly people.
In its new report, the charity calls on the government to scrap the idea of a costs cap and make care free for all who need it.
George McNamara, director of policy at Independent Age, said: “It’s time for the government to scrap the idea of a cap.
“Catastrophic costs may not be a term used by many older people but we know that many have an ever-present fear of losing their life savings or homes.
“The government has a duty and responsibility to act. Free personal care, in contrast to the proposed caps, will end the worry of losing everything to fund care. It’s simple, fair and affordable.”
Independent Age said free personal care would eliminate catastrophic care costs for everyone, whether they are receiving domiciliary care or are in residential care.
“Simply put, no one would pay for their care; avoiding tens of thousands of pounds, or even hundreds of thousands in charges at a time when they need support, not financial worries.,” the report says.
“Free personal care would also remove the unfairness in our health and social care systems, whereby someone who has a long term health condition, like cancer, gets all of their treatment free at the point of use, while someone else, who develops dementia, will be subject to a means test and may end up spending huge amounts on care for the remainder of their life.”
The report reveals that more than 143,000 people are likely to face bills of £100,000 or more.
Independent Age says a £100,000 care cap would affect just 5% of people and was only relevant after eight and a half years in care.
A £72,000 cap would help 12% of residents and would only take effect after six years and one month in care, the report found.
A lower £35,000 limit would support 36% of the elderly spending three years or more in care.