Half of people who are looking for or receiving care services don’t know how to pay for them, a new poll has found.
The survey, conducted by Censuswide for live-in care provider Promedica24, found that just 50.89% of people who are considering or receiving care, either for themselves or their loved ones, feel informed about the funding options available to them.
One in four questioned (25.45%) said they were “very or somewhat uninformed” about how they can fund their care.
The nationwide poll was conducted over seven days in July and involved 1,010 families of those considering or already receiving care in various settings, including a care home, retirement facility or their own homes.
When asked about the main challenges with funding care services, more than 38% (38.12%) questioned said it is difficult to predict for how long the care will be needed; close to 33% (32.67%) pointed at not having enough personal savings, and 32% (31.98%) mentioned the possibility of going into debt.
Grzegorz Wrzosek, finance and administrative director at Promedica24, Europe’s largest provider of live-in care services, said: “The recent Censuswide survey, commissioned by Promedica24, confirmed what care providers have known for a long time – a vast share of people who might eventually require care and their families tend not to plan for it until the moment the care is needed.
“Lack of awareness about various care options, their quality and long-term costs often lead to last-minute hectic decisions where the care service cannot be delayed any longer. Sometimes this means that people who desperately prefer to stay at home feel like they have no other option than monetising their assets, selling much loved possessions they cherished throughout their lives, to pay for their stay at a residential care facility they don’t want to be at in the first place.”
The poll revealed that less than 30% (29.5%) of people who either receive or look for care services seek information about the funding options available to them from specialised financial advisers, such as those who received Later Life Adviser accreditation from the Society of Later Life Advisers.
At the same time, close to 40% (39.21%) of those questioned cite family and friends as the source of information they use when deciding how to pay for care services.
Wrzosek continued: “Based on our experience of working with hundreds of families across England, there seems to be a widespread belief that personalised one-to-one care provided at home must be more expensive than residential care options. In reality, this view is often not correct but prevents some families from exploring all the care options available to them before making a well-informed decision about the solution that fits their needs and financial situation best.
“As the new reform for adult social care and its funding is expected to be rolled out over the coming months and years, it is more important than ever for people to look for a reliable source of information about the care solutions available to them and their loved ones.
“The complexity of various care funding options, whether it is through personal insurance care policies, equity release, public funding or individual savings, combined with changing regulatory background, means that the decision of how to pay for a preferred care option should be well thought through to deliver the best outcome for families and their loved ones.”