Ruth Mitchell

'Care-free' baby boomers to hit care crisis

Two thirds of baby boomers have made no plans for their future care needs. A survey for Help the Aged showed that 62 per cent of 45-65 year olds have made no plans for their care, with one in five admitting they feel that ‘life is too short’ to worry about something that may never happen.

The survey, conducted by GfK NOP on behalf of Help the Aged, shows that those approaching retirement age little understand what preparations they need to make. Almost half believe that the Government will contribute in some way towards their care needs, with one in ten 61-65 year olds optimistically believing the State would pick up the bill for all of their future care costs. Over half (55 per cent) believe that should they need a place in a care home one day, their basic state pension of £84 will cover the £400 a week average cost.

Jonathan Ellis, senior policy manager at Help the Aged, says: “This research highlights the worrying extent of confusion among people who are at an age when they should be planning ahead, or at least thinking about what future care needs they may have. The Government’s current complex system has added to this, succeeding only in fuelling widespread uncertainty about where the state’s responsibility stops and the individual’s begins.”

Issued in advance of the end of the Government’s consultation on NHS funded continuing care this Friday, the national survey confirms the common misconceptions around the current care funding system. The Charity is warning that the public’s relaxed attitude towards their future needs is resulting in thousands of pensioners not getting the care they require.

Mr Ellis added: “Needing care in older age is a fact of life for one in five of us yet this is likely to rise - by 2017, there will be more people over 40 than below 40, and the proportion of older people with care needs is also likely to grow. People are deluding themselves if they think that it will never happen to them.”

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