The social care green paper must factor in individuals’ “emotional attachment” to their homes, a pensions and investment firm has urged.
The appeal follows a major survey that highlights a nationwide desire to stay at home for longer.
The study, conducted by Aegon on 14,400 workers and 1,600 retired people in 15 countries, reveals that 92% of people in the UK think that it’s important that they remain in their own home as they get older.
And three quarters (74%) of UK respondents said it was ‘very’ or ‘extremely important’ that they remain in their own home.
This compares to 58% of people in the Netherlands and 43% of those in Japan placing importance on continuing to live at home.
People’s strong emotional attachment to their homes has important implications for social care provision and how it will be funded, Aegon said.
It warned that the continuing delay to the government’s green paper is causing a “frustrating lack of long-term certainty’, with no clarity on how costs will be split between state and individual and whether people’s properties will be taken into consideration when determining how much they will contribute towards care costs.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon said: “The funding of social care is an emotive subject, but there’s a very audible message that people want to remain in their home, rather than having to sell it as a means for paying for residential social care. This needs to be factored into the Government’s solution for stable and sustainable social care funding.
“Individuals need to have a clear understanding of what they’ll be expected to pay should they need care and there needs to be an overall limit or ‘cap’ on their share of care costs. We need to ensure that incentives are in place for people to plan ahead for an event which could be 20 or more years into the future.”
Aegon’s research highlights the government “mustn’t focus its attention solely on residential care”. Having suitable living accommodation and a home that works for people as they get older is seen as key if it means maintaining their independence for as long as possible.
One third (33%) of people in the UK envisage having bathroom modifications in their home as they get older, followed by home security systems and panic buttons to call emergency services (both 27%) indicating a need for people to feel safe and connected while continuing to live in their own home.
Image credit: Cera Care.