The recently published CSCI annual report, 'The State of Social Care' highlighted the need for Government to radically rethink the way older people are assessed for eligibility to care services and support.

Local Authority Social Service Departments are found to be failing to provide care assessments, or failing to offer adequate care packages - because of funding limitations. Without such help, uninformed, vulnerable people may be choosing inadequate or inappropriate care - and missing out on financial support which they should get!

Financial support being denied can include the '12 Week Property Disregard' - where local authorities should disregard property value of people entering permanently into a care home. The 12 week disregard period can be worth over £3,000 in financial support.

People can also be missing out on the Deferred Loan Scheme from local authorities, where a loan for care funding can be secured against a property's value. This can provide considerable flexibility when a property can take months to sell and care fees have to be found.

Attendance Allowance and the Pension Credit Severe Disability Premium can also be worth £112.95 for each week a property needing to be sold is on the market.

Inappropriate care consequences

Philip Spiers of specialist care fees advice company, NHFA stresses the inadequacies of a seriously over-burdened and restricted system. "People are choosing care that is inappropriate for their needs, or will be too expensive for the local authority to fund, when their own money runs out. The consequences of them being forced to move to a different care home or the family feeling obliged to pay substantial top-ups are now a real fear for many."

These problems can be avoided if people know their rights - in respect of local authority charging and assessment procedures, health authority responsibilities and welfare benefits. It is also a sobering thought that 70,000 homes are needlessly sold to pay for care each year in the UK - when alternative options are most certainly available.

On all these matters, it pays to be fully informed of possibilities, before the crisis of care home need arises. Care Directions has asked NHFA to provide comprehensive guidance. Read it now, by going to here.

Care Directions

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