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.
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.