Independent Age response to the Department of Health publishing draft guidance and regulations accompanying the Care Act
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, says:
“The Care Act is a bold and welcome piece of legislation. We welcome in particular the commitments to better advice and information so that people can make choices about their care and support. However the fine aspirations behind this change in the law need to be backed up by realistic levels of funding. The promise of the Care Act to promote individual wellbeing risks being undermined unless local authorities are properly funded to meet the needs of an ageing population. There is a serious risk hundreds of thousands of older people will continue to be locked out of care and support under the current proposals on eligibility for council help”.
“We are concerned that the flagship reform - a 'cap', or financial limit on the costs an individual has to pay for their own care - won't really cap all the costs a typical person might face in residential care. While we welcome plans to end the ‘catastrophic’ care costs someone might face, the cap will only benefit a minority. We know that only 8% of men aged 85 and 15% of women over this age really stand to benefit once it is introduced in 2016. The Government needs to be clear and up-front with people about what the care cap actually puts a cap on.
“We welcome proposals to prevent care homes asking for unreasonable contributions from relatives towards the home care fees of their loved ones. Independent Age is campaigning against the ‘secret subsidy’ of these so-called third party top-up fees. We want to see more transparency in the system so people only pay a top-up through choice, not necessity.”