London Councils: Capital’s residents confused about care

Adults in London are experiencing widespread uncertainty over how to access social care for loved-ones while being unconcerned about their future care needs, the body representing the capital’s local authorities warned today.

A survey of 1,011 Londoners aged 18-64 by London Councils found that four out of 10 people who have a relative with social care needs find it difficult to know who to speak to once they are in the system, or to understand what care is free and what needs to be paid for.

It also revealed that most Londoners were unconcerned about their future care needs, with only one in 10 expressing ‘great concern’ and a further third being concerned only to some extent.

This lack of preparedness comes with the demand for care in London set to rise, with the number of people aged over 65 expected to increase from 900,000 currently to 1.25m in 2031.

Responding to the survey, London Councils is calling on the government to:

  • urgently investigate alternative funding models for adult social care, with particular emphasis on incentivising residents to save for their own care
  • provide funding for local authorities to undertake a pilot scheme which would focus on a single point of contact for social care to make navigating the system easier
  • begin an awareness campaign to help people understand the need to plan for old age, with more clarity over what services are provided free and what are self-funded

The survey comes ahead of the expected publication this month of the government’s long-awaited green paper on the future funding of adult social care in England.

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