Elderly could pay for care for eight years before help

Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire
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Elderly Yorkshire residents could spend almost eight years paying for their care home before they are eligible for government support, new figures suggest.

Yorkshire’s older people would have to spend £195,000 over 7.7 years before the Government’s new Care Cap came into force, making them eligible for help - the highest anywhere in the country, a report by financial firm Partnership said.

Care minister Norman Lamb announced changes to how care is funded in July. But the cap, which begins in 2016, only covers direct care for those with severe or critical needs.

In Yorkshire, where the average cost of care is £25,428 per year, only £9,413 per year is eligible to be counted towards the Care Cap, meaning it would take almost eight years before Government support was available.

Jim Boyd, director of corporate affairs at Partnership said: “Research suggests that the typical person who goes into care lives for two years, which means that in Yorkshire they could pay £50,856 in fees – with no hope of reaching the care cap. While the average person only lives in a care home for two years, others can become longer term residents. While this is excellent news, it does mean that they may well find that they face a far largre bill for care than they thought.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said it had raised the means testing level so that help kicks in earlier, meaning two thirds of people who reach the cap will pay less than £72,000.

He said: “The current system for paying for care is completely unfair - people with more than £23,250 are on their own. We are transforming the way people pay for the care they need, capping the amount they have to pay, providing more financial help and offering deferred payments so no one should be forced to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.”