PAYING for care home fees in later life is a great concern for many people in their 50s. So much so, that when Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for a Dementia Tax in last year’s Tory manifesto, it sparked panic among those who feared they would lose their homes.
As it stands, those in residential care have to fund it themselves if they have assets above £23,250.
Mrs May proposed to raise this to £100,000, but stated the figure would include the value of a person’s home.
At the moment, the value of an individual’s property is only taken into account if they are no longer living in it and have moved into residential care or a nursing home.
The new proposals were to include those still living at home but in need of care, which could potentially leave many worse off.
And with the average house price in the UK at £226,367, most homeowners in Britain believed they wouldn’t be eligible for financial support because their estate would never be worth less than £23,250.
The Dementia Tax was heavily criticised by all sides.
Traditional Tory supporters said it was an attack on middle-class OAPs who wanted their children to inherit their property.
And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said those needing long-term care would run up huge bills, and it was “forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.”
Following a public backlash, Mrs May quickly made a U-turn announcing care costs would be capped but did not specify a limit.
Dementia is a degenerative condition that becomes progressively worse and requires long-term care.
Providing care for a loved-one with dementia costs on average £32,250-a-year, with two thirds of it being paid by their family.
As a person with dementia can live with the condition for ten years or more, care can cost the family more than £200,000.
Those living in residential care or a nursing home can defer payment until after they pass away, with the cost then being deducted from their estate.
The manifesto proposed extending this to those who receive care at home.
At first glance, the new proposal appears to be a fairer system as everyone receiving care is being treated equally. It would protect an individual’s estate up to £100,000 – more than quadruple the existing amount.