Economists warn majority of care home residents don’t gain from government cap

Under government changes to be introduced in 2016, if you live in a care home then the fees for your care are supposed to be capped at £72,000 to prevent those people requiring support from having to sell their homes.

A new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (commissioned by wealth management firm Killick & Co), reported in the Daily Telegraph, has claimed the majority of care home residents will die without ever becoming eligible for the £72,000 cap. The reason for this is that, on average, an individual will live in a care home for two years and four months – incurring an average of £69,000 in fees. A resident in a nursing home will stay, again on average, for a year and five months at an average cost of £57,000.

The other issue is that the £72,000 cap will only cover care costs, with residents still expected to fund their bed and board, often at a cost of £12,000 a year.

The report raises further questions about the funding of residential and nursing care, who should be meeting the cost, and what can be done to prevent individuals and families from having to sell their homes and other assets to pay for care. Central to this, as noted this morning by Age UK, will be providing people with more information and support to plan for their retirements.