Councils deny older people a fair deal

people who pay for their own residential care are not getting a
fair deal, according to a new study from the Policy Press.

Asset Stripping: Local Authorities and Older Homeowners Paying
for a Care Home Place
finds that older people who pay for a
care home place in England and Wales are unlikely to receive fair
treatment from their local authority.

report shows that many older people with assets in excess of
£18,500 – beyond which they are not entitled to a local
authority-funded care home place – do not receive a needs
assessment from their council to determine whether residential or
some other form of supported care is the best option for them.

local authorities employ strategies to discourage older people with
assets over the upper capital limit from pursuing a needs
assessment. Many older people and their relatives were not aware a
needs assessment could be provided and missed out on advice about
alternatives to residential care such as support services at home
or moving into sheltered housing.

the report found that local authority policies and practices
differed considerably. There was a huge variation in the
circumstances in which local authorities will make a contract with
an independent care home provider for an older person funding their
own care.

authority contracts are usually better than contracts made by an
individual payer as the authority can monitor the quality of the
placement, check contract compliance and review a resident’s
well-being. But many individuals were unaware that local
authorities could negotiate contracts on their behalf.

– Policy
Press, Asset Stripping: Local Authorities and Older Homeowners
Paying for a Care Home Place
from 01235 465 500.

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