More than half of the population underestimate the cost of private nursing home care by an average amount of £12,000 a year, new Which? research reveals.
This runs the risk of serious financial problems in later life, or a lower likelihood of receiving good-quality care, the consumer champion organisation has said, noting that Londoners have the most unrealistic expectations, underestimating the cost of a nursing-home place by an average of £540 a week, and people in the East Midlands the most realistic.
Which? has launched a free online cost of care and eligibility checker to help people calculate the likely cost of care in their area, as well as eligibility for local-authority support and funding options.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “If we are to truly tackle adult social care, we must aspire to social care having a similar ‘national treasure’ status as the NHS, with similar levels of awareness and understanding about what social care is and why it matters.
“With low public awareness of social care and people’s preparedness for how to pay for it, it is more important than ever that the Government get on and publish their green paper, start a massive campaign to raise awareness of what social care is and don’t duck the big issues on funding. We need bold solutions and we need them now.”