Monday, 4 July 2011

Paying for care - how it might work

Here's Andrew Dilnot's example of how his new system would work:

"Alice lived alone in her own home worth £175,000. She had dementia and needed to go into a residential care home when she was 83 for the last five years of her life.

  • Under the current system, she would have to pay for all her care and living costs in full until she died. To cover this she would have to sell her home and would end up spending over £90,000.
  • Under our reformed systemAlice would contribute in full to her care and general living costs for two years. At this point she would have reached the £35,000 cap and from then on the state would pay her care costs of £18,500 per year and Alice would just pay for her general living costs out of her pension income. She would keep 80 per cent of her wealth (£140,000)."

What this appears to mean:

*free or partly free care in England for those with savings and property worth less than £100,000 (up from £23,250)

*A cap on what you pay (once you're above that threshold) of £35,000 for care (washing,dressing, moving etc), while you pick up the hotel costs (food and accommodation)

*once you reach the £35,000 cap the care comes free, but you continue pay what you can for the hotel costs out of your income. The contribution would be up to £10,000 a year, or £190 a week, which means that people relying just on the state pension would have to dip into savings.


  1. I'm not so naive to think we can expect to contribute nothing - but this does seem fairer than a system that gives the appearance of using up all the savings of a person to pay for care in their advanced years. People want to leave something to their children - and not be accused of trying to hide it from the state by giving it to their children (like people used to be able to do by co-owning houses with non resident children) by gifting some of savings to those they care about.
    I also think however how we are looked after in our old age will change. I aspire to something between the "golden girls" and the BBC programme - with Dickie Bird and Lionel Blair "The Young Ones" (essential viewing). I want to be a little cantankerous and I shall definitely wear purple I'm currently 43

  2. Great comment - thanks, Simon