The majority of people have made no plans for paying for their elderly care, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
A poll by BritainThinks carried out for the LGA found that only 15% of adults are making plans for paying for their elderly care with 50% saying they had never thought about it.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “This polling raises real concerns over how prepared people are for their own care needs, or the care of their loved ones.
“Half of the public polled have little or no understanding of what social care means, whilst only 15% of people are making plans to pay for their care in later life, with those from poorer social backgrounds half as likely to have a plan in place compared to those in wealthier social circumstances.”
Almost half of people polled (48%) said they had little or no understanding of what social care meant, with only 13% saying they had a good understanding of what it is. Furthermore, 5% of people said they had never heard of the term ‘social care’, with 44% believing it was provided by the NHS and 28% understanding it was free at the point of access.
Across the UK, 44% of people pay the full cost of their care in care homes, the LGA said.
Following the poll findings, the LGA is calling on the Government to lead a national campaign to heighten the profile and reputation of adult social care.