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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Apr 23, 2012

Many ‘significantly overestimate’ care needs, Audley

Recent debates around the funding of long-term care ahead of and in response to the report published by a commission led by Andrew Dilnot have left many “significantly overestimating” their risk of needing long-term care, according to one accommodation provider.

A new survey of 2,017 individuals, commissioned by Audley Retirement and conducted by YouGov, found that 64 per cent of men and over half of women assume they will need care. In fact, only one in five men and one in three women are likely to need long term care in the future, Audley said.

Despite the debates over care funding, according to the survey 41 per cent of people do not know how they would fund any care needs. Only one in ten considered that equity from the sale of their house could be used.

In addition, the research found that 99 per cent survey respondents want an alternative to residential care in old age.

When asked how they would want any future needs met, the majority said by downsizing to a retirement village where care could be provided on-site or to receive care in their existing home, rather than within a residential care home.

Nick Sanderson, chief executive of Audley Retirement, said: “These findings illustrate how flawed the debate on long-term care has been.

“Government and the Dilnot Commission have focused on how we find a funding fix for the current model of residential care provision, yet as these findings show it is a model no one wants.

“We have to listen to how people want their future care needs and invest in viable alternatives that meet people’s aspirations for independence, control and dignity in later life.”

He pointed out that older people need to be “empowered” to stay in financial control of their future.

Mr Sanderson said: “This is the first generation of homeowners who collectively owns £1trn in housing assets. The greatest challenge they face is being aware of the options available to them to use this equity to fund their lifestyle, any future needs and also provide inheritance.”

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