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CONFUSION OVER PAYING FOR CARE FOR THE ELDERLY

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A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says many elderly people in private residential and nursing homes are mi...
A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says many elderly people in private residential and nursing homes are mistakenly using their own savings to pay for accommodation and treatment when it should be funded by local authorities.

The Guardian (p7) reports that it is unclear whether the errors are due to negligence or confusion over the regulations on long-term care funding which changed two years ago.

Fay Wright of the Age Concern Institute of Gerontology, who carried out the research, said: 'Spouses whose partners enter residential or nursing homes seem especially prone to unfair treatment.

'Liability to contribute towards their partner's care is being interpreted in different ways, not only by different councils but also by different social workers under the same authority.'

A statement from Age Concern read:

'There must be clarity and equity in processes for deciding how much

people have to contribute towards paying for their own care. National

criteria are essential if older people and their families are to be able to plan ahead effectively. The Community Care Bill (residential

accommodation) Bill currently going through the Lords and the work of

the Royal Commission will play key roles in creating this. But unless

there are measures taken immediately today's pensioners will lose out.

Above all older people need peace of mind.'

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