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Most would not benefit from care costs cap, research finds

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Proposed caps on adult social care costs would not benefit most care home residents, research has found.

Analysis of various levels of cap by Grant Thornton warned of a risk that they could be set too high for many care home residents to benefit and fail to take into account high accommodation costs charged by providers in addition to personal care fees.

The research, commissioned by Independent Age and published today, shows a person would have to spend eight and a half years in a care home to benefit from a cap on costs set at £100,000 which does not include accommodation costs. This would only apply to 5% of residents as the average length of stay is two years.

The Conservative party’s election manifesto included a proposal for assets down to £100,000 to be used to fund care whether or not they are living in their own home.

The analysis found a £100,000 cap which included accommodation costs would only benefit 34% of residents.

A cap of £72,000, which was set to be introduced in 2020 under Care Act 2014 but subsequently dropped by the government, would only benefit the 12% of people who stay in care homes residents for six years, the research found. A lower cap of £35,000 would benefit 34% of people in residential care.

Independent Age has called on the government not to introduce a cap on care costs and introduce free personal care.

The charity’s director of policy George McNamara said: “Catastrophic costs may not be a term used by many older people, but we know that many have an ever-present fear of losing their life savings or homes to pay for their care. The government has a duty and responsibility to act.

“Free personal care, in contrast to the proposed caps, will end the worry of losing everything to fund care. It’s simple, fair and affordable and is the reform that the majority of people want to see.”

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