In March LGiU published Independent Ageing a research report supported by Partnership which looked at the funding of adult residential care. We discovered that self funders falling back on state provision cost councils up to a billion pounds a year: a cost they were largely unaware of.
However, we also argued that this cost was at least in part avoidable and that councils could do more to signpost people to independent financial advice that could help them not to deplete their funds by taking out insurance or using their assets more effectively.
The report was deliberately timed to feed into the thinking of the Dilnot review of social care funding. Their report is due put next week but it’s encouraging to see media reports yesterday morning suggesting that some of its recommendations will be around how to build a better market for insurance to meet care costs. That would be exactly in line with the recommendations in Independent Ageing as to how councils should help do this, so it would be pleasing example of LGiU policy work having a direct impact at the highest level.
What remains to be seen of course is whether the government acts on Dilnot’s recommendations and yesterday’s report suggests that enthusiasm is mixed. We’ll reserve full comment until we’ve read Dilnot’s report but we’ll certainly be pressing for bold action to meet this fundamental social challenge.