Government cuts could damage elderly care standards

Cuts to government spending on elderly care could damage standards, a Wills and Probate lawyer has warned.

A BBC study revealed that the money paid out for care for over-65s in England has fallen by a fifth in ten years, with There’s a 20 per cent drop in the money spent per person, accounting for inflation. Lynda Monks, a Wills and Probate solicitor at Macks Solicitors, a leading firm of lawyers in Middlesbrough, is concerned by the drop.

“Given the new Care Act coming into force on April 1 2015 and the demographic trend, it is surprising and disappointing the decrease in the government’s spending in this area,” said Lynda.

“This could have a detrimental effect on the provision of services for the elderly.”

The overall budget allocated to supporting care costs for the elderly fell in real terms by six per cent over the decade, but the over-65s population increased by 17 per cent.

The rate of the decrease has noticeably accelerated in the last four years and the Local Government Association, which represents councils across England, blamed the figures on the 40 per cent budget cut imposed by central government.

Additionally, experts believe that the scaling back of support for those needing care will result in more pressure being put on Accident and Emergency departments and the NHS.

Over-65s requiring care are often expected to fund the full cost themselves, although some are given contributions from their local council. Around 420,000 people are in care or nursing homes, one million over-65s receive care in their own homes and an estimated 1.5m people are cared for by family or friends.

The findings were compiled from the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s council funding data and Office for National Statistic’s population data. The announcement of the data coincides with the launch of the BBC’s Cost of Care project. The project provides an online guide to the costs of care for over-65s, and is aimed at older people or those who are caring for them. It calculates an estimate of the costs of care you could face, depending on your location. The calculator can be accessed here.

Lynda Monks has 30 years of experience in elderly client law and is registered as a Dementia Friend with the Alzheimer’s society. She is part of Macks’ experienced team of Wills solicitors in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Darlington and can be contacted on: 01642 252 828.

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