Who Pays Up In The Lottery Of Care Costs?

Care homes are locked in a funding crisis, but how does this affect the elderly people who have to pay for themselves? Eileen Morrison died peacefully on Tuesday night, surrounded by her family and the carers who had looked after her for two years.

She had no idea of the threat of closure to her beloved nursing home Kelton Grange, or of the battle her daughter Susan Nevarro had fought to win the right funding to keep her there.

Mrs Nevarro, of Wavertree, said: “I was so happy that my mum was able to die in the place she loved and the place I had chosen for her. But, just because she has gone, I will not stop fighting for what I believe is right, that everyone should get free care when they need it. The care and attention that was given to my mum in her final hours was second to none and everybody should have that.”

Mrs Morrison, 77, who suffered vascular dementia and ovarian cancer, was given three months to live two years ago. For months, she was using the proceeds from the sale of her house to pay for care that the state should have funded.

This is a predicament which hundreds of vulnerable elderly people across Merseyside face when they are no longer able to look after themselves and they are fortunate enough to have assets, such as property.

On the face of it, the Government’s case seems clear. Care for elderly people falls into two categories: health care or social care. And while the Government claims it will happily foot the bill for the first, patients themselves cough up for the latter – if they can afford it.

But the reality is not so clear-cut.