“Without access to appropriate advice and support about purchasing care older people face a number of potential risks to their health and wellbeing, including the risk of their care needs not being adequately met, the risk of poor purchasing decisions with adverse financial implications, and the risk of exploitation or abuse.”
Dr Denise Tanner, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Care at University of Birmingham added: “Paying for care is not only a big financial drain. The ‘work’ required to manage care takes a toll on the practical and emotional resources of older people, and their families too. Many of our participants felt great anxiety about what would happen when their money ran out, with some calculating how long they could afford to live.”
Mo Ray, Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln, added further: “‘Our study shines a light on the day-to-day experiences of older people and unpaid carers who need to purchase care in the context of a complex and difficult care landscape.”
“Our recommendations highlight the need for a fundamental reform of social care which fully acknowledges and incorporates the needs of self-funders and addresses long-standing issues concerning the cost of care, its accessibility, quality and the value placed upon the social care workforce.”
The research also tackles issues faced by raft of stakeholders other than older people themselves, including family members, informal carers, professional care providers, health practitioners, and social care commissioners.
For further information and access to research findings, visit the Older People: Care and Self-funding Experiences website.