Old age care costs means millions will leave nothing to children

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Millions of Britons are facing up to the prospect of being unable to leave anything to their children because of the cost of old age care, research for council leaders shows.

Millions of Britons are facing up to the prospect of being unable to leave anything to their children because of the cost of old-age care, research for council leaders shows.

More than six out of 10 people expect to have to take drastic financial measures such as using up cash set aside to be inherited by the family of selling off the family home.

Polling for the Local Government Association found widespread resignation to having to use up life-savings to fund care coupled with fears of being a “burden” on younger generations.

The LGA, which speaks for almost 400 local authorities in England and Wales, said the care system was “in danger of collapsing”.

It warned that councils might soon be unable to continue to provide basic services for the elderly, such as helping people get washed and dressed, unless the funding gap is addressed.

David and Cameron and Nick Clegg are due to decide in the New Year whether to finally implement the recommendations of the economist Andrew Dilnot to cap the cost that anyone would currently pay for care in their lifetime.

Council leaders warned that without decisive action soon, hundreds of thousands of people would be faced with a lifetime of worry and the prospect of losing their home.

Polling by ComRes for the LGA found that almost a quarter of the population expect would consider raiding funds they had set aside as an inheritance for future generations to pay for their care.

Almost three in 10 said they would consider selling their homes to pay for old-age-care while the same proportion said they would use up their own life savings.

By contrast less than a fifth would consider moving in with their children so they could act as their carer.

At the same time the polling, which included adults of all ages from 18 up, found that two thirds of the population actively worry about how they would pay for care as they get older.

Well over half of those polled cited fears of isolation of becoming a burden to their families.

“We are deeply concerned that failure to properly fund adult social care is leaving people in limbo and faced with having to take drastic measures to ensure they are properly looked after in old age,” said Cllr David Rogers, chairman of the LGA’s wellbeing board.

“This is threatening the dignity and independence of the hundreds of thousands of elderly people who rely on council support and just want to live comfortably and without a lifetime of worry.

“We need to see reform of the system so that it provides peace of mind for older people and their families and allows them to properly prepare for the very real cost of care.

“It’s a scandal that people currently face the prospect of dipping into hard earned savings or losing their homes because of soaring care bills.


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