People in their fifties should plan for care home costs now, says Essex solicitor

With care home fees expected to double in the next 20 years, people in their 50s are being urged to take action now to cover costs and ensure loved ones are not left empty handed.

That is the message from a leading firm of Essex solicitors which is offering free advice sessions this November to help people plan for the future.

“Growing old is an emotive subject that many people delay thinking about,” explained Caroline Dowding from Birkett Long. “But with NHS care providers under increasing budget pressures, and an aging UK population stretching resources, the Government simply won’t be able to support everyone.”

“We all deserve a dignified and comfortable lifestyle in old age, so it’s imperative that anyone in their 50’s takes action now and starts planning for the future to protect their finances and assets,” she added.

To help people find out more about making financial arrangements for elderly care, Birkett Long is holding two informal seminars in Colchester this month, providing free guidance and advice. The sessions will explain all the options for preparing to pay for care home fees, such as equity release, insurance policies, powers of attorney and making provision within a will for dependants if residential care is needed later in life.

“Currently a single room in a residential home costs around £25,000 a year, increasing to £36,000 for a single room in a nursing home,” added Caroline. “If you own assets worth more than £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full cost of care yourself and will not be entitled to Government support.”

“Without doubt, care home fees will continue to rise,” warned Caroline. “It’s been estimated that they’ll double over the next 20 years, and by 2028 a four year stay in a residential care home is expected to cost around £55k a year. Failing to make plans now could see your assets, including your house, taken to cover the cost of care fees, leaving loved ones with nothing.

“We want to help people make preparations to protect themselves, their family and their finances. Our seminar will explain all the options in simple English, and we hope to reassure and help people through the process,” said Caroline. “We encourage relatives to attend too so they can gather information and advice to discuss with their loved ones and make an appointment at a later date.”

The free seminars will take place at The George Hotel in Colchester on Thursday 25 November at 2.30pm and Friday 26 November at 10.30am. Tea and coffees will be provided.

To register for a place on the seminar email jennie.skingsley@birkettlong.co.uk, register online at www.birkettlong.co.uk or call 01206 217605.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.