Moorfields investigates whether the future of care homes is under threat
The future of care homes in the UK could potentially be under threat, as an increasing number of elderly people struggle to meet care home costs.
While elderly residents in England can have their full care home fees met by the local authority if their assets fall below £14,250, figures from charity Age UK found almost a third of those entitled (56,000) still had to rely on help from family and friends to top up their care home bills.
Where will it end?
Mounting pressure on local authority budgets has also meant that some residents have had to be moved to cheaper care homes in other parts of the country. So, where is this all set to end? Is it possible that the increased costs involved will ultimately result in a reduction of care homes throughout the UK?
An Age UK spokesman said: “More and more families whose older relatives are on a low income are finding that there is no other alternative but to supplement inadequate local authority funding with sky-high top-up fees.
“This crisis in the funding of social care is rippling through generations and the wider economy, forcing hard-pressed families into traumatic choices, pitting the quality of care provision against the burden of shouldering top-up fees.”
Figures from data firm Laing & Buisson reveal that while the costs of residential care for local authorities comes in at £480 per week, the average weekly care home cost comes in a higher range of between £528 and £623.
A spokesman for the Department of Health argued that local authorities had been given extra financial support to meet care costs.
“Local councils have been given £7.2billion of funding to support social care. Residents unhappy with the service being offered by their local authority, including on top-up fees, can complain and seek redress through the Local Government Ombudsman.”
With the elderly struggling to foot the bill for their care, struggling care homes may want to seek insolvency advice from specialists such as Moorfields on conducting an independent healthcare business review (IHBR).
Moorfields can also assist directors and stakeholders associated with companies who are in financially distressed situations.