Elderly ‘Face £70,000 Care Home Bill’

The average stay by an elderly person in a home with nursing care costs more than £70,000, according to research today, underlining the financial pressures faced by older people. Figures show that 30 months is the average duration of an older person’s stay in such a home and, with the weekly cost of nursing care at £545, the total cost comes to £70,796. The figure in Greater London would be £91,650.

People with assets, including property, of more than £21,000 in England and Northern Ireland, £21,500 in Wales or £20,000 in Scotland have to pay for the cost of their care, forcing many older people to sell their homes.

The figures are contained in a report by Liverpool Victoria which shows that care in Greater London is the most expensive with homes providing nursing care charging £705 per week and other residential care homes £528 per week.

Charges in the southern Home Counties are £689 and £430 per week respectively while residences the northern Home Counties charge £680 and £454 per week respectively.

There are 55,000 people in residential care homes giving nursing care, and 69,000 people in residential care homes.

The report highlights the terrible plight faced by many older people who feel the system of funding for long-term care is unfair and iniquitous.

It also highlights the costs that fall on relatives, many of whom are struggling with mortgages and school fees.

Many adult children are not in a position to help their parents financially and 44 per cent said their elderly parents would have to sell their home to fund care.

The report says the overall cost of caring for an elderly parent is £121,000 on average and will escalate, yet few people make provision for it. One in five adults has parents or in-laws who need care.

“Already people are making big sacrifices in order to help and assist their parents, with one in five saying support for parents needing care is a higher priority than financial support for their children,” said the report.