Over 50s still largely in ignorance of care cost cap and what it really means for them

4th July 2013

The public remained confused about just what help they are entitled to receive from the state in the event that they need care. A survey by Saga conducted by pollsters Populus of 9,349 Saga customers, all aged 50 and above showed that just 9% say they understand the £75,000 care cap proposed by the Government.

That is the maximum amount the public will need to pay for care which the Government suggests will save them from having to sell their homes. There are other concerns for ministers as well. The survey also shows that

69% of people thought accommodation costs often known as ‘hotel costs’ would be included

57% thought that any medical treatment costs would be included

37% believed the cost of food would be included

32% thought the cost of personal care services such as haircuts would be included the calculation

Saga says that whilst 82% of over 50s are aware of the cap on care costs, less than one in ten (9%) knew what the limit had been set at.  Rather more worrying is the fact that 70% thought that the calculation for the care cap started as soon as someone was assessed as having a care need, and when prompted less than half (48%) correctly said somebody would have to be assessed in critical or substantial needs to qualify.

Tim Pethick, director of strategy for Saga says: “Our research clearly shows that the government’s publicity machine has worked wonders in ensuring people are aware of the new safety net that they’ve introduced – but people are being lulled into a false sense of security.”

“It is clear that mass confusion prevails around both the eligibility and calculation of the care cap. This lack of clarity does not bode well for the country, individuals or the politicians that will have to answer to the families that will still see their family homes sold to fund care costs.”

The research also revealed that one in three also mistakenly believed that if they selected a care provider that was more expensive than the local authority, the total amount would be included in the calculation.

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