67% of over-50s are currently determined to stay living in their own home if they ever need care in future, according to a new report.
The report from the Equity Release Council, with Pure Retirement and My Care Consultant, shows the pressures of the pandemic have left a majority of UK adults concerned that care is too expensive (63%), lacking in public funds (64%) and not fit for purpose (57%).
60% of over-50s say they are fearful of having to move into residential settings. The determination to receive care at home grows stronger with age, rising to 76% among over-70s.
The findings also show that 22% of adults are unaware that many people have to contribute to social care costs in later life, rather than being free at the point of use like most NHS services.
Half of the adult population (50%) have not considered how they will pay for long-term care needs. Just 18% have made any provisions for this at all.
The lack of preparedness is even more acute for older age groups: 55% of over-50s have not thought about paying for care and only 12% have put plans in place.
The Equity Release Council report – Solving the social care funding crisis: perspectives on the contribution of property wealth – features insights from figures in politics, academia and financial services on the role of property wealth in supporting a broader, sustainable care funding solution.
It considers the role of public and private sectors in meeting growing demand, the benefits of later life lending product developments, and the importance of specialist financial and legal advice when dealing with a complex system and clients in potentially vulnerable situations.
Policymakers have debated a range of care funding solutions over the last decade, including caps on care costs, a social insurance fund, a National Care Service and higher taxes. Last week the government published its blueprint to integrate health and social care services and has pledged to bring forward proposals for broader social care reforms this year.
The Council’s research suggests nearly half of UK adults (47%) feel state funded care should be available for everyone to access, up to a certain point, with the option to top this up using their own finances. Fewer people (40%) believe care should be completely free at the point of use, while only 4% believe care should be completely self-funded.
David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “The country is crying out for a care funding plan that is fair for all and sustainable in the long-term. We welcome the government’s commitment to progress social care reforms this year to help people live independent lives for longer. With this issue firmly back at the top of the agenda, we urge government to bring forward solutions that can make state-funded care available to all, up to a point, with people using their own funds and assets to top this up where needed. We also need to ensure that care provision can support people’s desire to have their needs met in the sanctuary of their own homes.
“Property wealth can play an important role in resolving this generational crisis. The ability for people to access some of the money tied up in their homes can help realise their ambition to live there independently for longer, by funding extra homecare services, new technologies or making home adaptations.”
Paul Carter, CEO of Pure Retirement, added: “We’re increasingly seeing a landscape where retirees are asset rich and cash poor, which could have major implications in the way that people fund their care needs in later life. It’s been great to work with people from across a number of related sectors exploring the potential relationship between later life lending and long-term care, with a view to shedding light on potential funding avenues for those needing care in the future.”