Massive cuts in care spending – how will it affect you?
A new report from Age UK shows the scale of cuts that have been made to social care funding in the last few years. The report suggests that at least £769m has been taken away from services for older people since 2010.
Despite there being 30% more people aged 85 and over since 2005 - those people most likely to need care - social care spending has dropped by £1.2bn since 2010. This shortfall has been partially cushioned by a £438m transfer from the NHS budget to local authorities.
What this means for you is that you are only likely to receive financial aid from your local authority if an assessment finds that your needs are ‘substantial’ or even ‘critical’, as there is not enough money to fund services to help those with ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ needs. So, while you may struggle with everyday tasks like preparing food, going shopping or bathing, you will need to pay for your own home help if you feel that it is required.
Whether you are eligible for help varies from local authority to local authority, so you will need to contact them for an assessment if you want to find out where you stand.
If you want to stay independent and in your home for as long as possible, but you find that you are not eligible for local authority funding, then the next step is to look at what help you need and what you can afford. A good place to start is to go through our handy Care Needs Helper, which aids you in identifying the key areas where extra help and support is needed. This helps you to prioritise what needs to be done.
Then you can start to put together a care plan. If you have the money, then hiring a paid carer is a great solution, as you can have someone come to your home as and when you need them, and you can ask them to help with any aspect of your care.
You could also consider asking family to help out, have a look at local support groups and community services, and speak to charities and church groups, for example, to see what help they can offer.