Life Insurance  

LTC sufferers at risk from lack of financial advice

A survey of 23 local authorities by insurer Partnership and thinktank LGIU revealed that 53 per cent did not refer individuals for advice after an assessment, with only 17 per cent referring individuals for advice before an assesment.

A 38-page report published today (Tuesday), dubbed Independent Ageing 2013, warned of a “looming crisis of support for self funders”, and “significant challenges” for the 57 per cent of people who funded their residential nursing and care, either in full or in part.

Some 24 per cent of self funders exhausted their resources and were forced to fall back on state funding, costing councils an estimated £425m during 2011/12.

The research also analysed official statistics from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Additionally, it revealed that 43 per cent of people paid the full cost of their fees in 2012, while 40 per cent of self-funders would benefit from an existing financial product to protect their assets.

Dr Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGIU, said: “Ensuring that self-funders receive the level of support that they need is beneficial for not only the individual’s involved but the entire structure of social care.

“This report clearly highlights that while we have come a long way over the last two years, there is still much that councils, advisers and the financial services industry can do.”

The government’s proposed care Bill will establish a requirement for local authorities to refer individuals to regulated care fees planning advisers.

Chris Horlick, managing director of care for Partnership, said: “This report clearly highlights the role that regulated independent financial advisers can play in ensuring that not only do older people receive the support and information they need but also are able to live out their lives in a manner of their choosing.

“The current care system and the proposed care Bill provides significant opportunities for advisers to develop their businesses and provide a more holistic service to their clients. We suggest that advisers seriously consider how they can become involved in the process.”