The Health Secretary’s recent announcement of a cap of £75,000 on the amount the elderly will have to pay for care has been welcomed and is indeed, a step in the right direction. However, as always ‘the devil is in the detail’. The reality is that the proposed changes, even when they eventually come into force in 2017 will benefit, by the Government’s own estimate, only 16% of the elderly population.
The cap only covers care costs. It does not cover food and lodging, which means that many will still face big bills. Dementia sufferers will probably benefit the least, as many can require care for more than a decade.
Moreover, the new rules are so complex that it may well be beyond many families to negotiate their way through the system.
Despite the proposed changes, the estate planning and wealth management teams at Napthens still expect to be consulted regularly as now, by elderly clients desperate to find a way of legitimately preserving their capital to pass on to their families – and wondering what other arrangements they might be able to make to fund any care which they might require in future.