Social care  

How can advisers help clients tackle the care planning gap?

  • Explain how the government has responded to the care crisis
  • Identify the challenges facing families when it comes to care
  • Identify ways to address the challenges associated with care
How can advisers help clients tackle the care planning gap?
Credit: Anna Shvets via Pexels

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to ‘fix the crisis in social care’ in 2019, setting the intention that ‘no one needing care has to sell their home to pay for it’.

In 2020, plans were brought forward to this year, but in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, this was not possible.

Finally, in Her Majesty the Queen’s speech last Tuesday, it was highlighted once more as an area where plans needed to be brought forward and so the latest expectation is for proposals to be set during 20211.

While we do not yet know the detail of the proposals that will be made, many are calling for sweeping reforms.

For instance, in their recent recommendations, the Social Care Institute for Excellence has asked the Government to consider three strategic shifts:

  1. To shift to long-term sustainable funding
  2. To shift investment away from remedial and acute services towards community-centred preventative models
  3. To shift the workforce towards higher pay and better working conditions

Regardless of the nature of the proposal, 2020 and 2021 have shone a spotlight onto the importance of the care industry and how the provision and quality of care really are hugely variable and crucial to the outcome of those in need.

As part of our work with the care sector through the IEP Care Service, we have been working with financial advisers for some time to consider how they too can help clients with care preparations. 

Financial planning

It may not be immediately obvious how, or even why, wealth managers should support their clients when it comes to specific care planning.

While most advisers have likely been asked to assist in estimating a potential cost and including it in a financial plan, this is perhaps as far as their role goes.

But financial planning for care cannot be done in isolation.

There are various factors that impact the cost of care, including location, the viability of home alterations, length of time and level of disability.

Without knowledge of all these factors, care contingency planning for advisers who do not have specialist care qualifications is hugely challenging. 

However, your clients could hold the perception that this level of planning is sufficient and that they will put plans in place when the time comes – how hard can it be?

Sadly, the majority of family members who have experienced living with a loved one in care are disappointed on a number of levels, including availability of information, quality of care and cost. 

David Nugent, managing director at Grace Consulting recently took part in a Q&A in association with investment company  Ingenious, to discuss the growing demand for care, the greatest challenges people face and how simple, cost effective pre-planning can create a far more positive outcome for individuals. 

Can you put into context the magnitude of the requirement for care today?

In the next 20 years, our population will age, with 50 per cent more over 65s and 93 per cent more over 85s.

Nearly one in six people will reach their 100th birthday in 2040.

This is all great news as it is down to advances in medicine and lifestyle choices.