UK Care Home Patients – Justice Has Finally Been Served

Tags

, , , , , ,

September 30, 2012 is the last day when UK care home patients or their families who paid for care between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2011 can apply for a refund. Annually thousands of seniors are pushed into selling their homes or using their savings to meet astronomical care home fees though they are eligible for social funding because of a health condition.

Who can get a refund? UK Care Home Patients - Justice Has Finally Been Served

All care home patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia and other types of mental and physical disability or their families (if the patient passed away) are entitled to get the money they paid for care back. Most of these people were denied free funding from local councils because they were incorrectly assessed, others didn’t know they had the right to apply for financial support. Before October 2007, there was no uniform social care system so different health authorities assessed candidates for social care funding differently.

Can Brits afford the present care home fees?

Findings from Age UK reveal that old-age care may increase more than twofold in the next 13 years as the government is planning further social system cuts. Care home charges have skyrocketed by around £4,000 in recent months, and now pensioners have to pay as many as £45,000 for care in some regions. The rise is partly due to soaring energy costs and partly due to the latest cuts in social care funding. As a result, many seniors have to sell their property or use savings to fund their elderly needs.

Average weekly charges for nursing care in private homes in 2011-2012

  • England – £735 (London – £850)
  • Wales – £646
  • Scotland – £672
  • Northern Ireland – £553

Average weekly fees for residential care in private homes in 2011-2012

  • England – £522 (London – £679)
  • Wales – £472
  • Scotland – £566
  • Northern Ireland – £466

Justice has finally been done, and thousands of care home patients with mental or physical disability or their families can now reclaim money they had paid for care to which they were entitled. However, there is a high probability that many haven’t heard about the refund scheme because of scarce media coverage.

Seniors: When Balance Becomes A Problem

Tags

, , ,

According to Age UK, every 5 hours 1 elderly person is killed by an accidental fall in their own home and over 300,000 pensioners get injured so severely that they require professional treatment at hospital. When people you love can no longer control their muscles, long term care homes might be an option.

Seniors When balance becomes a problemCause 1 – Parkinson’s disease

Imagine having no power over the way you move because nerve cells (neurons) are depleting in the part of the brain that is responsible for movement control. This is what Parkinson’s is about. Primary symptoms usually begin at about 60, when patients start complaining about stiffness in the muscles, tremors and increasingly stooped postures, and progress to life-threatening conditions, when standing with their feet close to each other can lead to a fall.

As most Parkinson’s patients should take medication regularly, often at the same time every day, and may require help with bathing and using the lavatory, someone should be by their side most of the time. There are hundreds of care homes across the country where your parents, grandparents or friends can receive emotional support and quality care they deserve.

Cause 2 – Osteoarthritis

This is a painful and debilitating condition which affects about 8 million Brits and costs the National Health Service millions of pounds as around 140,000 surgeries are performed to replace damaged hip and knee cartilages every year. The condition typically begins after 45 with pain, stiffness and loss of movement and progresses as patients age, causing more pain and making them dependent on others.

The symptoms can be relieved by medication, physical therapy, exercise and surgery but patients are recommended to use canes and zimmer frames for balance. Seniors with severe forms of osteoarthritis may find it very hard and painful to do their daily routines by themselves and require constant help as a result.

Although half of all falls in Britain are caused by hazards in and around the home, they may be a sign of a debilitating untreatable condition. While objects causing trip-and-fall accidents can be removed from the house, depleting neurons and damaged joints need professional treatment on a daily basis.

Dementia Research Spending grows but what about Care Homes?

Tags

Mr. Cameron has recently announced a funding boost for dementia research and care in hospitals but his new scheme ignores the challenges faced by long-term care homes which provide residence and support for a third of UK dementia patients.

March 28, 2012 – UK Prime Minister David Cameron is going to double dementia research funding to £66 million a year by 2015 and said there would be financial rewards for hospitals that offer quality care to such patients. While researchers and hospitals are celebrating the good news, 14,000 care providers with 250,000 dementia patients under their supervision are bearing the brunt on their own.  

Dementia is a national concern

Dementia is a terminal condition with the average life expectancy of 8 years after diagnosis. It is expected to affect around 800,000 seniors in 2012 at a cost of £23 billion to the National Health Service. By 2021, the disease may affect about 1 million Britons and by 2051 the amount of patients can increase to 1.7 million. Unfortunately, many professionals and the public see little value in diagnosing something that cannot be prevented and consider forgetfulness a part of ageing.

The UK spends too little on dementia studies

The Government’s plan to increase funding for dementia research more than twofold to £66 million is definitely a positive change but this sum seems inadequate compared to the £590 million invested in cancer research and the £190 million spent on heart disease studies annually. The UK has often criticised the American social care system but USA investment in dementia research is £52 per person while the British spend only £7.

Care providers need financial help too

A third of Britons with dementia are currently staying in care homes. Those are mostly patients with an advanced form of the disease. Today more than 14,000 organisations provide long-term care for such people, but the recent cuts of over £1 billion in care funding have deprived lots of dementia sufferers of appropriate care. Only 2 out of 10 local councils are now providing support for care seekers with minor needs; the rest are funding only people with critical and substantial needs.

David Cameron has called dementia “the quiet crisis” and promised to increase research funding from £26.6 million in 2010 to £66 million by 2015. Another £54 million will be available for hospitals so that they can improve care and support provided for such patients and their families. Long-term care homes, however, are not going to receive any financial help from the government, at least, under this scheme.

Related links

Long-term care homes at PayingForCare.co.uk

Parkinson’s Patients Need Financial Support

Tags

About 120,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s disease and approximately 5% of them live in long term care homes. Most patients have problems with day-to-day tasks and taking medicine on time is the only way for them to keep the condition at bay. However, n
owadays when more people need professional care and treatment, the numbers getting it from social care services are decreasing.

Not being able to control movement

Parkinson’s disease first described in 1817 by an English doctor James Parkinson is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder of the brain known to rob people of control over their muscles. It typically begins at about 60 as patients start losing nerve cells (neurons) in the part of the brain that controls movement and suffer from stiffness, tremors, difficulty in walking, mood swings and memory lapses. Although it is traditionally considered to affect seniors, it can develop much earlier in life, as it happened to Canadian actor Michael J. Fox at the age of 30. The bad news is that doctors know more about Parkinson’s symptoms than its causes.

Being dependent on others for care

Patients with Parkinson’s disease require constant support and treatment. Although it is a disorder of movement, depression can be its most debilitating complication. In care homes seniors are supposed to receive all-round professional help but few can get access to it today as the Government keeps cutting social care funding. And those who get support are often shocked by its quality and cost.

Hoping for changes

The current social care system is considered unfair and unclear by many. However, any new scheme without adequate funding will not address the national concern over the quickly growing number of health and care challenges. Now that the Prime Minister has announced a funding boost for research on another unpreventable condition in the elderly known as dementia, Parkinson’s patients and their carers live in hope for financial support from the Government.

Seniors become one of the most vulnerable members of the British society as cuts in the social care system continue. A new law should give everyone confidence that they will get access to quality care whenever they need it, particularly Parkinson’s patients and their families.

Dementia Research Spending Grows But Care Homes Get No Funding

Tags

Mr. Cameron has recently announced a funding boost for dementia research and care in hospitals but his new scheme ignores the challenges faced by long-term care homes which provide residence and support for a third of UK dementia patients.

ImageMarch 28, 2012, PayingForCare.co.uk – UK Prime Minister David Cameron is going to double dementia research funding to £66 million a year by 2015 and said there would be financial rewards for hospitals that offer quality care to such patients. While researchers and hospitals are celebrating the good news, 14,000 care providers with 250,000 dementia patients under their supervision are bearing the brunt on their own.  

Dementia is a national concern

Dementia is a terminal condition with the average life expectancy of 8 years after diagnosis. It is expected to affect around 800,000 seniors in 2012 at a cost of £23 billion to the National Health Service. By 2021 the disease may affect about 1 million Britons and by 2051 the amount of patients can increase to 1.7 million. Unfortunately, many professionals and the public see no point in diagnosing something that cannot be prevented and consider forgetfulness a part of ageing.

The UK spends too little on dementia studies

The Government’s plan to increase funding for dementia research more than twofold to £66 million is definitely a positive change but this sum seems inadequate compared to the £590 million invested in cancer research and the £190 million spent on heart disease studies annually. The UK has often criticised the American social care system but USA investment in dementia research is £52 per person while the British spend only £7.

Care providers need financial help too

A third of Britons with dementia are currently staying in care homes. Those are mostly patients with an advanced form of the disease. Today more than 14,000 organisations provide long-term care for such people but the recent cuts of over £1 billion in care funding have deprived lots of dementia sufferers of appropriate care. Only 2 out of 10 local councils are now providing support for care seekers with minor needs; the rest are funding only people with critical and substantial needs.

David Cameron has called dementia “the quiet crisis” and promised to increase research funding from £26.6 million in 2010 to £66 million by 2015. Another £54 million will be available for hospitals so that they can improve care and support provided for such patients and their families. Long-term care homes, however, are not going to receive any financial help from the government, at least, under this scheme.

Related links

Long-term care homes at PayingForCare.co.uk

http://www.payingforcare.co.uk/

The UK Elderly Feel Neglected

Tags

Image

54% of pensioners surveyed feel ageism is not taken seriously enough in Britain and 46% believe the current social care system is not tailored to meet the needs of the elderly. Moreover, the number of seniors who get access to long term care is going down, along with the quality of that care.

Seniors do not receive adequate care

A recent poll shows that over half of care home residents are denied basic health services. About 25% of respondents are not given a choice of male or female carers to help them use the bathroom, while others have to wait for up to 3 months for formal medical checks. Most shockingly, in a quarter of nursing homes members of staff are unsure about the health care services their residents expect to get.

The cost does not reflect the quality

Meanwhile, the cost of care continues to grow, with England being the most expensive region to look for a nursing home in. Some pensioners may have to splash out over £45,000 a year, especially the so-called ‘self-funders’ whose capital is more than £23,500 and who are, therefore, considered ineligible for local council funding. The rising fees are partly due to governmental cuts and partly due to the increase in energy costs. However, this does not mean that seniors will be receiving higher quality care by paying more.

The system of social care is in crisis

Today thousands of people have to sell their property to finance their residence in nursing homes but those who manage to get there are not treated properly. New figures show that some care homes spend as little as £15.86 a week per resident and only £2.27 of that amount accounts for the daily food budget. At the root of the crisis is the difference between the governmental funding and the real cost of care.

Despite the shocking figures reflecting the current state of the UK social care system, there are still care homes and nurses providing quality services. Yet the whole system should be re-organised to ensure that every senior and care seeker in particular can get access to quality care anytime anywhere.

Why Opt For Long Term Care Insurance

Tags

In a recent survey, 50% of doctors working inUKhospitals blamed local councils for making it harder for older people to access home help, forcing them to stay in hospitals unnecessarily. Recent cuts to social services budgets are allegedly exacerbating the problem. Restriction of access to social care has left older people who have been unwell trapped in hospitals because they cannot afford to return to living independently at home.

Long term care

According to Harvard Magazine, women live an average of 81.2 years and men live an average of 76.1 years. Because the average UK citizen is living longer, this increases the likelihood of one needing long term care at some point during their life. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart problems, cancer, bone fractures and Parkinson’s disease may also create the need for long term care services.

Long term care plans

Long term care insurance is available for people who potentially may require long term care. This policy typically covers such things as nursing homes and adult day care but can also cover home care and assisted living. Government programs may cover your nursing home care while all other health insurance programs will only cover your care for a short time (less than 100 days). If you need long term care, you will probably need to pay for it out of your own savings or have your children pay for you.

There are four major reasons why you should buy long term care insurance before you’re 65:

  1. To maintain your independence (so you don’t need to rely on your family members)
  2. To protect your assets (by making long term care services affordable)
  3. To be able to choose between more options than just nursing home care
  4. To preserve your standard of living

If you’re over 65, the chances of your needing long term care someday are about 68%. Besides 37% of those already receiving long term care are under 65. The average cost of home care aid adds up to thousands of pounds a month. That’s why buying a long term care plan can be an affordable alternative to using your savings to pay for care.

5 Tips For Long Term Care Planning

Tags

,

Nearly 70% of people over 65 need long term care (LTC). This is medical and non-medical care provided for individuals who can no longer meet their personal needs by themselves. Most care seekers need help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and using the bathroom. You can choose to live in care homes without nursing care or receiving care at home. However, there are people who also need professional medical assistance because of poor health, in particular the elderly with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Surprisingly, many seniors are now more concerned about purchasing home insurance against fire when the risk of long term care is 600 times more likely. Long term care planning is an important step you should take to ensure there is someone to take care of you when you can no longer do it by yourself. It can be associated with the loss of independence, vulnerability and loneliness but being prepared for it well in advance is the best way to avoid difficulties that may arise from looking for care and financial support from the government when you need them most. Here are 5 call-to-action tips to consider today.

TIP 1: Find out about LTC available

There is sheltered housing, care at home, retirement villages, care homes without nursing care, care homes with nursing care and continuing care.

TIP 2: Get assessed for care

You should contact the Adult Services department of you local authority which may send their representative to visit you at home and talk to your doctor.

TIP 3: Find out about your eligibility for LTC funding

Your eligibility for care funding will be based upon this assessment. Generally, you are entitled to financial support from the local council if your capital (including the property) is below £23,250.

TIP 4: Have someone arrange care for you

Plan in advance who can make arrangements for you in case you are unable to make them yourself when the need for long term care arises. It can be a family member, a friend or someone you trust.

TIP 5: Choose the right care home

What you need from a care home is determined by your state of health and medical assessment made by the Adult Services department. You may also want it to be located close to an important family member or where you currently live.

It is natural not to worry about an event until it happens but when it comes to long term care, it is best to have a plan.

Getting Advice For Elderly Care

Tags

,

According to a recent report by the US census bureau, the proportion of the global population aged 65 and over is set to outnumber children under five for the first time. The report shows that over the next 30 years the number of over-65s is expected to double from 506 million to 1.3 billion. That will bring new burdens on carers and social service providers, which still lack inducements from governments to continue working.

Image

Although the UK comes in at number 19 in the list of the world’s oldest countries, hundreds of thousands of the UK’s elderly people are lonely, isolated and at risk. That’s why it’s important to take steps to arrange for any care you or your family members may require.

1. Start with the type of care you need

There are a variety of options available to those who need care. The choice depends on how much care is required. Home care is the most practical solution for those who need a few hours help a day. Sheltered housing is also for people who don’t require round-the-clock care and are still relatively mobile and independent. Care homes with or without nursing provide you with accommodation, meals and help with washing, dressing, etc.

2. Arrange for care assessment

Care assessment usually involves a home visit and a talk with your GP. The assessor draws up a report on your care needs and the type of care that would suit you best. Your personal finances are also assessed to check if you need full or partial funding of your care needs. If care in a home is recommended, local social services can make sure suitable care is made available to you or your family member.

3. Get professional advice on elderly care

How much does care cost? How can you afford it? How can you get support? To a person who is dealing with elderly care for the first time, these questions may be the first to come to their mind. To avoid confusion, turn to experts in older person care provision which can provide you with an informed opinion on local authority support as well as related financial and tax matters. Their advice can help you make the best use of your financial resources and find the type of care you need.

3 Things You Need To Know About Care Home Fees

Image

Each year about 20,000 self-funding UK pensioners have to sell their homes to meet the ever-rising care home fees. Experts fear that this year annual costs may increase by over £4,000 in some cases and hit more than £45,000. This increase is partly due to local authorities cutting back on funding and is partly driven by rising energy costs and considerable pressure on wage bills. Here are a few important things pensioners should be aware of:

1. Eligibility for council funding

People who need a care home place and have less than £23,250 in assets (including their property) are entitled to some financial support from their local councils. Pensioners with capital between £23,250 and £14,250 are entitled to considerable council funding but will have to pay a weekly capital tariff of £1 for each £250 between these two figures. Individuals whose capital is below £14,250 can receive maximum financial support from their local authorities, while care home seekers with capital over £23,250 have to meet the full cost of care.

2. Types of care

Care homes without nursing care usually provide accommodation, meals and help with dressing and washing but residents are not entitled to any help from on-site nurses. If professional assistance is required, then a home with nursing care is the best option. Some homes may specialise in certain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. The difference in services determines the difference in fees charged; nursing care homes are usually 40% more expensive than residential homes. Besides, bills in some care homes may not cover phone calls, trips, treats, clothing, toiletries and personal items.

3. Location of care homes

Fees vary throughout the UK. England is the most expensive region to look for a care home in, with charges reaching £735 per week in 2011. The average weekly fee in London homes with nursing care increased by over 5% last year and hit £850 followed by Northern and Southern Home Counties. The same goes for residential care homes in these areas.

Over the recent years the government has often treated the elderly as a target for their cost cutting and neglected the fact that social care is not just a matter of how taxes are spent but more about protecting the dignity of seniors and providing them with quality care they deserve.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.