Headlines: September 8th, 2010

New research has found 80 per cent of people feel do not have enough information about options for caring for older people. The study, published by Counsel and Care, revealed a serious lack of public understanding of the care system and of information about it. 
In a survey of more than 1,300 adults, aged from 18 to 90, the charity found that only five per cent believed the social care system was easy to navigate.

Four out of five said not enough was done to tell them about the options available and three-quarters were unsure of the level of care that they, an older friend, or relative, were entitled to. Almost as many did not think the Government had a clear and consistent policy on care and support of older people.
The study also found seven per cent of respondents expected to receive full financial support from their local council and one in five agreed with their council’s financial assessment. A third, however, believed the Government should

be responsible for care funding through taxation. There was confusion, too, over advice available from local councils. Just over 40 per cent of people were unaware that councils offered a free assessment of an older person’s needs. 
Stephen Burke, the chief executive of Counsel and Care, said the research showed there was a fundamental lack of public understanding and knowledge of the care system and added: “In the long term this could prove to be disastrous, especially when examining issues such as funding.”