Groundbreaking Care Funding Advice Scheme launched in West Sussex - Adur & Worthing Liberal Democrats
Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Groundbreaking Care Funding Advice Scheme launched in West Sussex

Carewise, a groundbreaking scheme for those needing care funding advice is being launched in West Sussex.

It is hoped the scheme will help spearhead a change across the country in the way people think about their care options, and fund their care.  

With some nursing care fees reaching £80,000 per annum and home care charges up to £20 an hour, many people are selling their homes to meet the soaring costs. Yet research has shown that just 6% of older people admitted to care homes take specialist independent financial advice.

The failure to take advice means that some of those receiving care run out of money relatively quickly. They also find themselves with very little money left in their estate to leave their loved ones.

Yet many could have avoided these problems if only they had taken specialist financial advice. However, the problem for many people has been finding the right advice they could trust.

But now with the support of its Trading Standards department, West Sussex County Council has teamed up with Age UK West Sussex, The West Sussex Forum and the Society of Later Life Advisers(SOLLA), a not-for-profit consumer organisation,  to create a Carewise, a unique, groundbreaking scheme to help older people who need care and have to fund it from their own income and savings.

Nigel Turner, project manager for the County Council, said: ”With an ageing population and with more people living longer it is vital people make the right decisions at such a critical time in their life.”

Peter Catchpole, County Council Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “ This is a valuable scheme which ties in with our new Age With Confidence initiative. We want to make sure that people are confident in preparing for and living well in old age.”

The Carewise scheme will be officially launched by Lord David Lipsey at County Hall North in Horsham on Wednesday October 19. Lord Lipsey was a member of the Royal Commission on the funding of Long-Term Care for the Elderly. He is also President of SOLLA and a former Chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel.

To find out more about the Carewise Scheme visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/carewise or call the West Sussex County Council Customer Contact Centre on 01243 642555

Notes:

1) In West Sussex 5,100 older people fund their residential and nursing home care from their own assets and income. This represents 61% of care home residents. It is also estimated that 40% of home care services are purchased by people using their own savings and income.

The Institute of Public Care (IPC) estimates that nationally around 170,000 places are self-funded, representing 44.9% of the 378,053 registered care home places in England. The proportion of self-funded places in residential care homes is 39.6%, and 47.6% in nursing homes.

2) The number of “self funders” is likely to grow substantially over the next few years with the growth in the elderly population – many of whom will suffer from dementia.

Nationally there are an estimated 168,701 older people paying for care to help them with the activities of daily living in England. That number is likely to increase to 249,298 by 2030.

3) West Sussex County Council currently funds nearly 400 self funders whose assessable assets have fallen below £23,250 – this is the figure when the council is obliged to assume financial responsibility for the residents’ care. The annual cost is £5.91 million(an average of £14,850 per care home resident). Each year an average of 175 “self funders” ask the Council for help as their assets fall below the £23,250 mark.

4) Average annual care home fees in West Sussex are £30,000 for residential care, and £40,000 for nursing home care while fees in some care homes with nursing reach £80,000 per annum. Hourly charges for home care range from £13.50 up to £20 an hour.

5) Carewise has approved a panel of local Care Funding Advisers who are all qualified independent financial advisers. To provide older people and their families with additional assurance and confidence, the Care Funding Advisers have to comply with the following mandatory requirements:

·          Are accredited by SOLLA
·          Approved under the Trading Standards, “Buy With Confidence” scheme
·          Have Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks
·          Have completed Safeguarding Adults-at-Risk training

6) Carewise will enable older people and their families to check the benefits and other payments to which they may be entitled. Self-funding residents of care homes should all receive higher rate Attendance Allowance (£73.60 p.w). In a recent pilot project undertaken in the County 30% of residents who came forward were not receiving the money to which they were entitled.