A new report from Key, equity release advisers, highlights the social care postcode lottery across the UK, urging people to consider options for funding their care early.
The report shows that people in some areas of the UK are up to four times more likely to be fully-funded, with those in the East of England far more likely to have their care fully-funded than people in Wales and the East Midlands.
Cracking the Care Code is based on a Freedom of Information request to 205 local authorities, which found that councils provide support for 568,867 over-65s. Of these, over 175,000 (31%) are fully-funded and just over 300,000 (53%) are partially funded. 19 councils were unable to provide information on the level of funding for 93,324 people (16%).
Key’s Freedom of Information request also established that 6,882 retired homeowners are currently using Deferred Payment Agreements to pay for their care.
Deferred Payment Agreements were most likely to be used in the West Midlands and East of England where each local authority has on average 72 and 71 in place respectively while London (11) and Scotland (16) have the lowest on average.
Research for Key’s report found that just 21% of over-55s say they have made any provision for care. Around 44% say they would use savings and investments to fund some or all of their care, while 40% believe their pension income will be enough. Around 19% say they would need to use property wealth.
Will Hale Chief Executive at Key said, 'With 1.31m requests for care and support each year – a figure that is only going to climb – as a country, we face some tough choices around what we can afford to offer. Local authorities and Government are under pressure and while the upcoming Green Paper should provide some clarification, the likelihood is that many will need to find some if not all the money needed to pay for care.
'While few people want to consider the prospect of needing care and how they might meet this cost, it is vital that they do. Starting to think about care funding early, speaking to their families, considering all the funding options available and getting good advice is essential. This will help people to crack the care code and ensure that they make considered sustainable choices about what is a very emotive topic.'