New Which? research reveals that more than millions of people, more than half the population, seriously underestimate just how expensive care homes can be – on average, by the equivalent of £12,000 a year.
One in ten underestimated the true cost by a whopping £737 a week, or £39,000 a year. This places people at risk of financial problems or left struggling to get good quality care in later life.
Commenting on the Which? research, Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England, said:
“These findings paint a stark picture of just how unprepared people actually are should they need care in their old age. Our own research has shown that just 1 in 20 people consider themselves fully ready to deal with any future care and support needs.
“When it comes to choosing a care service, people tell us the most important thing is to be able to compare the costs and quality of different local providers. But the current information gap is not making it easy on people, particularly when we consider that these decisions come along at a difficult and often deeply emotional point in our lives.
“The government’s long planned Social Care Green Paper must, as a priority, improve the information out there and actively encourage people to start planning earlier in life. If it fails to address these issues then the current ‘wait and see’ attitude that most people default too is likely to continue.”