Ivy Palmer - Care Advice & News

NHS Struggling With Cost Of Care

Senior Care Costs Set To Rocket Due To Increase In Dementia Cases

A new report highlights the disparity between available NHS funding and the number of seniors who are likely to need care in the next 8 years.

New research presented by the Lancet Public Health medical journal has shone a light on the lack of funding available for senior health care in the UK. The report signals that the NHS will face an enormous cost in caring for the elderly in this country. Specifically, between 2015 and 2025 there is likely to be an estimated 25% increase in those who will require care. This is in part due to a population who are living for longer, but equally because of the growth of dementia cases in the elderly.

How Will This Affect The Elderly?

As highlighted by the medical journal report, over the next eight years, it is expected that there will be 2.8 million people aged 65 and over who are in need of nursing support and social care, as they are unable to adequately look after themselves. In order to meet the cost of this care, there will need to be a significant increase in both public and private expenditure on care, which will undoubtedly be a substantial burden on the cash-strapped resources of the NHS.

What Measures Must Be Taken?

As a matter of urgency, it is recommended that more care homes are needed, along with an increase in informal at-home care. Tax allowances and cash breaks could assist with allowing people to receive support from the comfort of their own homes. However, one overlooked area is the suggestion that there should be investment into the prevention of age-related conditions such as dementia. By educating older people about lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, taking regular exercise, giving up smoking, and switching from heavy drinking to a moderate or abstinent level of alcohol, this can reduce conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes which are risk factors for the development of dementia in old age.

Financial Concerns

If you are concerned about the content of the Lancet Public Health medical journal either because yourself or a loved one is likely to need care in the coming years, then a great solution to consider is to receive support at home. Live in carers are an affordable option in many cases, particularly if you qualify for assistance with funding. When checking the criteria for benefits eligibility, the property that will be used as a residence for live-in care, otherwise known as your home, will not be means-tested. Those with non-property assets that are worth less than £23,250 could likely qualify with assistance. This will be welcome news for many seniors who want the reassurance of remaining in their existing homes, with the comfort of their belongings, nearby relatives and neighbours and the ability to keep their pets with them if they so wish.

Live-in care is highly personalised to the wishes and requirements of an individual, so that as much or as little support can be provided. Care can be offered every day or on a rotational basis, whatever suits the situation.

When there are such problems with affordability of residential care and the standard of care homes frequently being discussed in the media, it is comforting to many that live-in care is such an affordable option.