Doubts about Dilnot
Caring Times, March 2013
Care providers and financial advisers remain unconvinced that the Dilnot recommendations will overcome consumer concerns and confusion about funding care by selling their homes.
A survey conducted by Bridgefast Property Services shows that three-quarters of respondents said the sale of a property was the main source of funding care or retirement living in more than 50 per cent of cases.
Waiting for a sale was the top reason for delaying any move, although the benefit of getting professional advice to help speed up the process and achieve maximum value was all too often overlooked.
“The majority of our respondents are not convinced that implementing the Dilnot recommendations will improve the situation,” says Rob Dolbear, director of Bridgefast Property Services which is part of the HCR Group, one of the UK’s largest relocation companies.
“The biggest issue is that a proposed cap on life-time care costs will only relate to the cost of care or itself. The residential element will remain a significant cost that must be self-funded. Whatever the level of the cap – currently mooted to be £75,000 – most people will fund this part of their care by selling their home and in an uncertain property market, the sale value and speed of the transaction is crucial.”
Mr Dolbear added: “The majority of people do not recognise the need for specialist financial advice and those that do simply do not know where to find it. Indeed the majority of the professionals we spoke to said that fewer than 25 per cent of their clients were aware of the CF8 LongTerm Care Insurance Qualification or the Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA). The industry faces a big challenge in educating the public, not only about the importance of seeking expert advice from qualified financial advisors but also the key role professional advice can play in guiding them through the huge amount of information available to ensure that loved-ones receive the care they need, when and where they need it.”
The impact of property-related issues, funding and financial advice on elder care Key findings in the survey of care providers, financial advisers and developers: Three-quarters of respondents said property becomes the main source of funds to pay for care in more than 50 per cent of cases. More than 60 per cent of respondents said the need to sell a home or another property was the main reason for delaying a move into care, with a quarter stating that this was the case more than 75 per cent of the time. More than three-quarters of respondents agreed that fewer than 25 per cent of people recognise the need to seek financial advice when looking to fund long-term care.
There were mixed views on whether the implementation of the Dilnot recommendations on funding care would improve the current situation with 38 per cent of respondents stating that it wouldn’t, 31 per cent saying that it would and 31 per cent remaining uncertain of the impact. More than 80 per cent of respondents said their clients still find it difficult to access information about the different care options available. 65 per cent agreed that the rise in family members helping an elderly relative with care requirements contributed to absenteeism or distraction from work. According to respondents, the majority of people take into account personal recommendations when choosing care providers. 97 per cent of respondents stated that less than 25 per cent of people they had dealt with had heard of the CF8 qualification or the SOLLA accreditation.