Extensive care at home services should be available as an alternative to living in a care home where possible.
Care for the elderly is becoming increasingly difficult for Councils to provide. Where older people choose to pay for their own care through private care services or a private care home, this relieves the pressure on the system. To encourage and broaden this sector, tax breaks should be offered, similar to those associated with charitable status, and the inspection and regulation regime should be streamlined to become less of a burden on care providers.
Those with an elderly relative living in their home should be entitled to a substantial Council Tax reduction and/or tax allowance. Practical and financial support to enable people to care for relatives should be provided.
The government should explore voluntary insurance systems to mitigate the risk of high care home fees, through either a payment on retirement, regular payments through retirement or a fixed payment from one’s estate at death.
Maintaining fruitful family relationships is more challenging when families are scattered geographically. Older people are particularly affected when younger generations are distant. We would seek to enable extended families to stay closer together through measures to make local university education more attractive, housing more affordable and to encourage employers to make it possible for employees to pursue careers without moving far from home.
Insurance and utility company regulation should ensure a transparent and stable pricing structure. The price charged to existing customers should always be the same as that for new customers or customers who ask for a discount. This would simplify the decision-making process for all customers and prevent the exploitation of vulnerable customers who do not check their payment level regularly.