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Unprepared – 93 Percent of the Adult Population

Unprepared – 93 Percent of the Adult Population

COUNCILS FACE AN ADDITIONAL £1.62 BILLION ANNUAL BILL AS THOSE PREPARED TO DEPLETE THEIR WEALTH TO AVOID PAYING FOR CARE ALMOST DOUBLES.

As local authorities face the financial impact of the increase in the living wage on care budgets – a welcome but financially difficult move – specialist Insurer Partnership warns there may be more to come. Indeed, according to their latest Care Report, the proportion of people who would be happy to reduce their assets below the £23,250 threshold in order to ensure councils pays for their long-term care has almost doubled in two years from 23% (2013) to 43% (2015).

At the Legal Planning Group, Stephen Pett, Client Services Director said “Another recent survey said that 86% of people are not legally prepared for things going wrong.  Losing control of your life is bad enough, but handing control to Social Services, not your family is (apparently) the preferred route of more than nine in ten people who don’t know any better. Are you one of them? Almost certainly!  Use the contact form at the foot of the page to ask for our 2 Minute Guide to Legal Planning, and see just how vulnerable you and your loved ones are!”

With an estimated 126,000 entering care each year, Partnership suggests that this could see councils shouldering up to an additional £1.62 billion burden in England alone if all of those who say they intend to spend their wealth do so. Add this to the anticipated billion pound living wage bill and local services will be under more pressure than ever.

Councils in the South East (£338 million) and East (£211 million) are likely to be most impacted due to the relatively high number of costly care homes in these regions. People in the North East (47%) – already the region with the highest number of people claiming local authority support for care – are most likely to say they would spend their wealth and fall back on the state for support.

Impact of Deliberate Deprivation of Assets on Local Councils:

Region

% who would deliberately deprive themselves

No. people entering Care Each year

Potential Cost per region

North East

47%

7,887

£100,619,822

North West

46%

18,018

£202,996,554

Yorkshire

45%

13,464

£161,624,549

West Midlands

45%

13,068

£161,763,545

East Midlands

42%

11,385

£130,540,410

East

43%

14,289

£210,551,844

London

44%

9,603

£137,982,050

South East

42%

23,100

£337,513,176

South West

37%

15,840

£176,152,205

England

43%

126,654

£1,619,744,155

Jim Boyd, Director of Corporate Affairs at Partnership explains:

“While the second tranche of the Care Act with its associated implications has been delayed until 2020, councils still face a significant financial burden – which is set to grow considerably if even a third of these people deliberately deprive themselves of their assets.   Spending or giving away your wealth before you need care might seem attractive but it does limit your options and means that you are likely to have far less control over your future than you may hope.

“It could also be financially devastating for councils who are facing the financial impact of the introduction of the living wage on care budgets. While making wages more sustainable is naturally to be welcomed, budgets are already squeezed and local authorities are going to be carefully considering how to manage this amongst other demands on their finances. This is unlikely to lead to a satisfactory outcome for anyone.

“Those consumers who would prefer to have more choice but wish to safeguard some of their assets need to speak to a specialist financial adviser. They are fully qualified to not only show people how to structure their finances to meet their care cost obligations but also how to ring-fence money to leave to their families. This may involve the use of an immediate needs annuity – the only financial product specifically designed for ensuring the cost of care can be met as it guarantees to pay an income to meet a person’s care fees no matter how long they live.”

Stephen Pett added “The role of the financial adviser is very specific: you need to speak to legal professionals such as ourselves to set up the best possible protection for yourself and your assets.  There is no legal requirement for you to leave Social Services in charge of your affairs, and billing you for their time!”

Focus on Dementia Report: Prevention, Slowing Disease and Precautions

Focus on Dementia Report 2016.

The Focus on Dementia Report says that Alzheimer’s drugs prescriptions are six times higher than a decade ago.

HSCIC reports that the number of prescriptions dispensed in England for approved medicines to treat Alzheimer’s increased from 502,000 in 2004 to 3 million in 2014. The cost to the NHS of prescriptions for Alzheimer’s disease medicines dispensed in primary care stood at £45.7m in 2014. This was up from £42.8m in 2004, but down from the high point it reached in 2011 of £110.8m.

Worse still, the proportion of people who had a diagnosis of dementia in their GP record rose from 643 per 100,000 people in April 2014 to 755 people per 100,000 in December 2015. That is a jump of well over 17%. Ingrid McCleave, Head of Legal at Eastbourne Law Solicitors says “a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimers does not necessarily mean that it is too late to put sound Legal Planning in place.  If it happens to your or a loved one, and they have not taken proper legal precautions, please do call us at the earliest possible moment.” (01323 406299.)

The statistics are published today as part of the Focus On Dementia report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), pulling together in one place for the first time a range of information on dementia including statistics on diagnosis, prescribing, social care, mental health and lifestyle trends. The report also shows:

For those over 65, the highest rate of diagnosis is in the South of England, closely followed by the North. The Midlands is a further 9% or so lower. London has a diagnosis rate almost 40% lower than the South. I haven’t had the time to find out why the figures are so wildly different but for those of you with more time, I do recommend reading the Focus on Dementia report, which was issued in January 2016.

39 percent of carers who looked after someone with dementia spent 100 or more hours each week doing so in 2014/15. Over half (51 percent) of carers had been in this role for more than five years.

Responsible statistician Jonathan Hope said: “Our ageing population means that the way we diagnose, treat and care for people with dementia will be increasingly important to many of

Stephen Pett of Eastbourne Law solicitors added “The report in effect emphasises the urgent requirement for both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney as part peoples Legal Planning is sadly rising.  There can be no excuse for recommending only the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney and not the Health and Welfare one as well.

That is why we offer significantly reduced fees when clients have both types prepared at the same time. The Court of Protection is not keen to allow others to take Health and Welfare decisions where the person concerned has not made provision.  So Social Services tend to have the upper hand.”

See also ways of reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Office of the Public Guardian

Office of the Public Guardian Lasting Power of Attorney.

The function of the Office of the Public Guardian is to protect people who don’t have the ability to make their own decisions (i.e. lack mental capacity). It maintains the registers of Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney and also of court orders appointing Deputies.

To make a Lasting Power of Attorney with professional help, go here.

What the Office of Public Guardian does.

The Public Guardian is an individual who works with the Office of the Public Guardian. Their job is to protect people who lack the mental capacity to look after themselves. They do this by:

  • registering Enduring Powers of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
  • supervising deputies and working with other organisations such as social services (if the person who lacks capacity is receiving social care).
  • instructing Court of Protection visitors to visit people who may lack mental capacity and the people who make decisions on their behalf.
  • reviewing reports from deputies and attorneys acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • investigating concerns about how attorneys and deputies are acting, including making reports to the Court of Protection.

Asking for information from the Office of the Public Guardians registers.

You can search to see if there is a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney for someone you are concerned about. You can also search to find out if there is a deputy acting on their behalf.

To apply for a search you need to complete the ‘OPG100’ application form. You will need to send your completed form and cheque to:

Office of the Public Guardian.
PO Box 15118
Birmingham
B16 6GX.

You do not have to pay a search fee if you are one of the following:

  • a registered health care professional (such as a doctor or nurse).
  • a representative of a public authority, for example a local authority or the police.

Information you will get from a search of the registers

If you make a search of the registers you will be told things like:

  • if there is a deputy looking after the vulnerable person.
  • If there is an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and the date it was made and registered.
  • The case number it has been given.
  • Names of the donor, deputy or attorney.
  • Date of birth of the vulnerable person.
  • Any conditions or restrictions on the Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney or deputy order (but not specific details about them.)
  • The date the Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney was cancelled (if it has been cancelled).
  • The date the deputyship order expired or was cancelled (it has expired or been cancelled.)

Second tier search – if your first search doesn’t meet your needs

If the information you receive following a search does not meet your needs you can make a more detailed search. This is called a ‘second tier search’.

A second tier search will provide more information about the donor or the person who has a deputy acting for them than the first search. To do this you must first write to the Office of the Public Guardian with the following information:

  • the name of the donor/person the order is about.
  • The specific information you need and the reason you need it.
  • Why you have been unable to get the information from the person themselves.

You can write to the Office of the Public Guardian at this address:

Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 15118
Birmingham
B16 6GX.

The Office of the Public Guardian will consider your application before deciding whether to release more information. This will depend on things such as:

  • Your relationship to the person.
  • The information you are requesting.
  • Why you wish to access it.

You don’t have to pay an extra fee for a second tier search of the registers.

For information concerning the Office of the Public Guardian for Scotland, click here.  

Office of the Public Guardian Lasting Power of Attorney