There is a widespread lack of awareness about social care, confusion about how services are funded and a lack of preparation or planning for future care needs. These are the key findings from research by the Institute for Public Policy Research and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Research findings set out in the report, Expectations and Aspirations, include a reluctance towards greater family responsibility for funding and providing care. There does not seem to be widespread support for the role of families in care to become more extensive or compulsory. Most feel they should not be compelled to pay for relatives care.
There is also reluctance towards relying on the family for care. Nearly half of people would prefer professional staff, not family members to provide their own care.
Misconceptions about social care funding are widespread. There is confusion and uncertainty about how these services are funded at present, and the degree of individual contribution involved. Less than half of respondents to the survey were aware that care provision is means tested.
This, in turn, results in a lack of preparation and planning for care needs. Misconceptions around funding suggest that many are in a weak position to plan or prepare for their future care needs. Indeed, only a minority, 22%, are taking any specific steps to provide for or fund their own care. Large proportions across age groups either have not considered this issue or feel unable to make any such plans.
‘Expectations and Aspirations’ is available for download from ippr.