Headlines: January 14th, 1999

A new investigation into people’s thinking on old age suggests most people still believe that the state has a major role in taking responsibility for older people’s care.They also think the state can well afford the task, although they agree individuals should contribute if they have the means.

The survey of nearly a thousand people was conducted by the Nuffield Community Care Studies Unit in Leicester for the Economic and Social Research Council.

It also found confused thinking when people were asked about their attitudes to making provision for their own old age. Most thought that saving for old age should be a major priority for adults and over three-quarters felt that people should be able to purchase long-term care insurance if they wanted to.

But support for using privately paid-for assistance was very low, there was reluctance to think about using housing capital to fund care needs and little enthusiasm for compulsory insurance for care.

For further information contact Professor Gillian Parker, telephone: 0116 252 5422; Email:gmp3@le.ac.uk.

The ESRC is the UK’s largest independent funding agency for research and postgraduate training into social and economic issues.