Care by Design understands the fundamentals of organisational development, service management and leadership for the 21st century public sector organisation and communities.

The Rising Need for Social Care Support for Older People

The Rising Need for Social Care Support for Older People and the decline in funding for Social Care will mean that more and more people will have to look to fund their own care and if they own savings and a property; they need to be better informed of their options. Planning ahead for this rather than acting in crisis is critical to avoid paying more than necessary; getting a poor deal and poor quality experience and care in the later years of life.

So many people face these decisions after a hospital admission because of an illness or accident or the fact they aren’t coping so well alone with the level of support they have at home being insufficient. At this point the pressure is on to find a place to live and make a decision especially as once ‘medically fit’ the hospital bed will be required for someone else. The advice and support available may be coming from a person who does not have the skills and knowledge to help make these choices and this can be a very distressing time for everyone involved – the person and their family/carers. Emotions run high and anxiety increases making decision making difficult and often communication strained. If the person has reduced decision making capacity as a result of a temporary delirium or progressing dementia then this is all the more stressful for their loved ones as they try to navigate the system to get the best option for Mum or Dad.

I was recently introduced to Neil Stevens owner of Carepod and he told me about ‘Tenancy in Common’ which, when combined with a will, can protect some of the next of kin stake in the family home, so not all the money from the sale of a property would have to be taken into account for care costs.

Chatting with Neil I realised everyone needs to be better informed about financing care in their older years whether or not it becomes a necessity. My mother always used to say ‘forearmed is forewarned’ and after working hard all through life to buy a home why would we not want to secure as much of it for our children as possible. Especially given how hard it is for young people today starting out life if they go to university with so much debt. Planning ahead and having open family discussions can reduce the burden of guilt and the possible conflict between family members.

Published 1st November 2018