Gwynedd council call for care homes cost to rise £564.76 – a week
IT will cost pensioners £1,259 extra a year to stay in a residential care home in Gwynedd – pushing the total annual bill up to nearly £30,000.
It took only a few minutes yesterday for members of the council’s board to recommend a hike of 4.4% from £540.54 to £564.76 a week from next month – an increase of £24.22.
Everybody who can afford to pay will have to fork out from their savings or the sale of their homes.
If they can’t afford it, the cost, amounting to a total £29,367 a year or around £2,447 a month for each person, will have to be paid for by the council.
Age Concern’s John Clifford Jones said the extra cost was “unfair”. He added: “What’s unfortunate is that people have to pay this cost themselves. It affects people who the council aren’t paying on their behalf.
“Many will have to pay out from their own savings and that’s what makes it unfair.
“If you have £22,500 or more in savings, you will have to pay for your own care.
“There’s less of a demand for residential homes and more call for sheltered housing and extra care housing. And because some of the residential homes are not up to standard, there’s not enough people in them to bring the costs down.
“If they are only three-quarters full, the costs of the units rise.”
A report by Gwynedd’s head of social services and housing, Gwen Carrington, showed the full costs of the council’s 13 residential homes for 2011-12 to be £9.3m.
Some of the homes provide specialised services for individuals with memory impairment (EMI).
She said the reason for the increase was to cover pay and price inflation as well as the empty beds.
Portfolio leader Dai Rees Jones said: “Unfortunately, this year the council has to raise the cost by nearly 5% because of the empty beds – almost 20%. We don’t have much choice. We are paying £2m each year for empty beds. People are voting with their feet and are not coming to our homes.”