MP calls for gap in adult social care funding to be addressed
Calls have been made for elderly people without property or savings to be given more help to pay for their care.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb visited The Salvation Army’s care home in North Walsham on Friday to hear the charity’s concerns about the rising number of over-75s who are struggling to afford their own care.
Mr Lamb met residents of Furze Hill House, which has 40 residents, and was told how the current, asset-based adult social care funding is leaving older people, without property or savings, unable to pay for care in later life.
During the visit, Mr Lamb was shown around the home by home manager Jodie Hemmings and the Salvation Army’s public affairs adviser, Ian Geary.
Mr Geary said: “At present 30pc of places at Furze Hill House are funded by Norfolk County Council because residents don’t have the financial resources either through property, income and/or savings to pay for their care.
“But the gap in funding between what the local council can contribute and the cost of care we provide is widening all the time.
“Our older citizens deserve the best quality of care, regardless of their ability to pay.”
Mr Lamb said: “Through a lottery in life some people end up with vast costs for their care while others don’t.
“Most people would be willing to chip in to provide others with an insurance policy against disaster in old age. It’s done in other countries such as Germany and Japan.
“Too often elderly people without assets get second-rate care.”
The Salvation Army wants the government to recognise the concerns of those who do not own their own homes as part of its anticipated green paper on care and support, which is due in the spring.
Older people who are unable to self-fund their own care through the proceeds of home ownership must rely on their local authority to help fund their care. But even with that support, individuals must also call on relatives to help.
In contrast, home-owners are able to defer the costs of their care and support until after their death.