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Our new study has found that older people see the system of paying for care as deeply unfair and confusing....
Our new study has found that older people see the system of paying for care as deeply unfair and confusing.

Irrespective of age or geography, participants in focus groups wanted the state to provide a core level of free care for all older people who need it, particularly care over which there was no choice, such as washing, dressing and food preparation.

The study also found that the sample groups were particularly concerned that, over a reasonably low limit, an older person has to pay for all care costs with no help from the state. This worrying 'cliff edge' was judged as unfair, particularly as property was generally felt to be sacrosanct as an individual's hard work and savings had paid for it, and that many older people wanted to pass it on as a legacy to their family.

There was also widespread criticism of the complexities and expense of charging for care. Many, including some who were already making a contribution to the cost of their own care, could not understand how care charges were calculated even with a clear explanation.

All groups criticised the artificial barrier between social and health care.

Gordon Lishman, director-general of Age Concern, said: 'The report gives strength to the arguments advanced by Age Concern, as well as the recent report from the King's Fund, that there needs to be urgent reform of the financing of social care. It is clear that the present system is overly complicated and deeply unfair.

'The evidence is there. It is now up to the government to give voters the fairer system of funding they demand.'

Study reveals older people's view on paying for care

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