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The Generation Game

In a specially authored Panorama, Dame Joan Bakewell, who recently stepped down as the government's Voice of Older People, explores the challenges ahead in caring for our ageing population.

With the first wave of baby boomers about to turn 65, the question of who should be asked to pay for that care could not be more timely. As Dame Joan, 77, points out, amid talk from successive governments about tackling the problem, the old keep on getting older.

We welcome your comments on the issue - and on this week's programme. Please feel free to use this blog as a forum for your concerns or comments.


  • Comment number 1.

    The family who 'sold up' to move in with very needy Mother, what happened to proceeds of their house sale. Could this have been salted away, hoping to claim 'don't make us homeless' now that Mother has to go into a home? Sounds like it.
    This does not seem to have been addressed in the programme. Why not?

  • Comment number 2.

    At the top of the programme you showed a daughter living with her mother in her mothers home which she had to sell to pay for her continuing care. If a person has to go into a care home, then the family home does not have to be sold to pay for that care if there is a relative over the age of 60 living in that home. The family in your piece were obviously not aware of this.

  • Comment number 3.

    the programme just mentioned social care - what about when you have a health need that is suppoded to be paid for by the NHS. Thousands are having to sell their house to pay for that care because the NHS wriggles out of their obligation.

    Anyway thwe same old conundrum comes to the fore - if you spend every penny through out your life and do not save for your old age life the state will pay - look after youself and you are expected to pay for self - that should be looked at first not penalise the savers

  • Comment number 4.

    Joan Bakewell called the basic state pension, at £98 a week "derisory". Rubbish! The basic state pension is just that: basic, and is often supplemented by SERPS / State Second Pension, occupational pensions or savings. But pensioners who have not saved up can claim the minimum income guarantee which is £130 a week, winter fuel allowance which averages out at £5 - £8 per week plus their council tax and rent paid, and other benefits. Those pensioners do not have to pay towards long term care. And no pensioner - however rich - has to pay for the nursing element: that is paid for through the NHS.

    Contrast this with what someone who loses their job - through no fault of their own - has to live on: £65 a week. If they have no savings their council tax and rent may be partly paid (although housing benefit is now being cut in several ways).

    Old age is something you can plan for - you have over forty years of working life to prepare for it. We are all taught to take responsibility for ourselves and that includes old age. So those who have significant savings - including a home they no longer need - should pay for their long term care, rather than expecting the younger generation (struggling with student debts, sky high mortgages, rents and unemployment) to pay for everything.

  • Comment number 5.

    With reference to tonights Panorama, I feel rather strongly and sad that the care we are to receive is all about the 'old chestnut' Money.
    I felt very sorry to see that they were encouraging, a plainly frail lady, not only to remove her own stockings which was very difficult for her, but there was no mention of who keeps her HOME clean and hygenicall clean, that was surprisingly left off, or was it deliberate.
    I am nearly 62, very disabled, I will not bother you with the details, suffice to say that I have only one leg, severe Rheumatoid Arthritis which at the moment the medics cannot get under control, plus two other severe disabilities as well.I already look after myself since my beloved husband dropped dead in front of me 3 years ago.I have not been offered any counselling other than that I can pay for. At present because we had scrimped and saved for our retirement, so we could travel and enjoy ourselves, I now have to pay for all the care I receive with that savings at the rate of £15.30 per hour. I could do with extra help, but I cannot afford it because the money would run out before I die. I do not see that this can in anyway, be considered as enjoying myself. We raised 3 very responsible youngsters who do help me even though they have recently married and there are now three grand-children from the family members who have been married longer.
    I cannot go back to work even though I would like to, just to pay for my care.There are thousands of pensioners out there in similar conditions to me.We have raised the future polititions, so where is the care going to come from ? How are we to keep our homes hygenic ?
    I don't think that this has been properly thought through at all, I am waiting until an MP needs help, I wonder if that will be paid by the state !Care in the community does not work, unless you can shout loud enough. My parents helped to win the last War and yet are treated as though they have lived too long, I am sure many will agree with this last comment.
    We have, over the years, paid our taxes more than once, so why is that not helping to pay for the care? Before the last general election, one of the party's was saying there would be FREE care for the elderly and disabled, that has gone very quiet. I wonder why?

  • Comment number 6.

    Joan Bakewell has completely missed the point. My mother recently went into a residential home having been in care in the community for 3 years. She will be 90yrs soon. She lived in her house for approx 69yrs. With Dad they started a mortgage in 1952. They were poor working class. Dad has been dead 33 yrs and since those yrs my mother has managed only with a state pension. She never claimed benefit and having no money lived without much heating. I do not have enough fingers to count the people of her generation who I know who chose to spend their money rather than have a mortgage. Guess where the money from the house is going? Who is paying for the people I know who did not go without to purchase their own house. The issue is not who pays but the utter unfairness of a system where if you live the good life for today only, you are taken care of, look after yourself and you are penalised. How do I justify this to my children, in their 30's who have a mortgage and are struggling? The unfairness of the system encourages the young in their 'live for today' attitude. When will we be asked how we want our taxes spent. I certainly dont want them spent on £250,000.00 yr for security on an ex Prime Minister or housing the unemployed in Westminister.

  • Comment number 7.

    Care is difficult to find especially when you have to consider how you are goingto pay for it! As a care assistant myself I have seen care in the community and in the homes but it's an expense that alot of people can't afford! The major trouble for an elderly to worry about! We need to work together as a community to work a way of paying for he care we all I'll evetyallt need!

  • Comment number 8.

    Surely it boils down to the 'boomers' not having paid enough into the system to extract the 25-year gold plated retirements that they are expecting the rest of us to pay for on their behalf.

    They have been very lucky and benefited from (and to some degree engineered) massive asset price inflation, pricing the generations behind them out of owning their own homes, so in addition to sitting on all of the country's wealth they are now asking the very generations that they also expect to buy their over-inflated assets when the time is right to give them a second round of handouts in health care. This is not a 'surprise' turn of events, they have had their entire working lives to prepare for this, but instead have chosen to repeatedly vote in governments who viewed it as tomorrows problem!
    As it is by the time the younger generations have paid for the boomers (yet again!) there will be nothing left to care for our old age.


  • Comment number 9.

    I think the person called Simon needs to wake up to reality, he plainly isn't living on a pensioners wage.As for SERPS not every one is eligable
    Thinkon Simon let's see how you cope when you are 65.

  • Comment number 10.

    In 1998 my parents were unable to continue living in their house of 58years. My mother had Alzheimers, my father was reasonably OK but was unable to supervise my mother's use of the cooker - not lighting it and filling the kitchen full of gas or lighting it but burning the bottoms out of the pans.
    Going into care would have meant separation - my mother to EMI, my father to care.
    Whilst my father still was able to make rational decisions, the family debated the options - my father did not want to go into a care home
    One option was to sell both my parent's and our house and build another to accommodate both our family in the main house and my parents in a specially designed flat with easy access at 2 levels but totally separate from each other until needed.
    We did that and built a new house for the 3 generations.My mum's Alzheimers was rapid and she only had less than a year in the new combined home.However,my father had the company and assistance from 2 generations for 9 years to nearly his 96th birthday - and avoided his worst fear of going into a care home.
    Both parents needed some care but that came from the local authority 5 days/week with us providing weekend care.
    We now have a house and flat combined with a market value equal to the combined value of the 2 original homes, including inflation and have avoided some £250k of care home fees but most importantly have provided for my parents.
    We are now approaching our 70's and it is already our intention to move into the flat (eventually), allowing our daughter to take over the house and maybe do for us what we did for my parents.
    This course of action is not without significant potential snags but has been proven to be the best decision, emotionally, practically and financially our family ever made.

  • Comment number 11.

    My Father has worked all his life. He bought his own house with a struggle when most people on his wage level were renting, he was thrifty and saved. He never envisaged having to be in or pay for his care - he thought that he would be well enough to look after himself and be comfortable in hius own home until the inevitable long farewell. I am happy for his hard earned savings to be used to keep him safe and cared for - we see him often, love him dearly but due to his dementia it would not be feasable for us to care for him 24/7.We do not need his money.
    What bothers me are a MINORITY of people who have not worked through choice, who have lived on the welfare state all their lives and will get full care paid for by the state. That does not seem fair.

  • Comment number 12.

    Right at the end of the programme, Jeremy Vine stated that one in four babies born today will live to the age of 100. I would like to know what assumptions are made in calculating those figures.
    No pandemic of bird flu? No nuclear war? A stop to global warming? Food production keeping pace with the world population?
    Unfortunately I shall not be around to say "I told you so" when this prediction is not achieved.
    Some people are now saying that the present generation of children are so much less fit than the previous generation, that for the first time in living memory they will die younger.

  • Comment number 13.

    Sue Hunt wrote at 9.54 that I "plainly isn't living on a pensioners wage".

    That's right Sue. I live on LESS than I would get if I were 65. I have an income of less than £6000 a year and I am not eligible for benefits. I have a mortgage to pay (thankfully small); utility bills (including council tax) come to about £60 a week and I spend £70 a week for my other regular expenditure including food. And I manage.

    If I was to retire, with the same savings, I would qualify for £130 a week plus council tax benefit, plus winter fuel allowance - in all about £7700 a year. I will have paid off my mortgage before I retire. So I will be significantly BETTER OFF as a pensioner than I am now.

    As for SERPS, I didn't claim that everyone gets it. But many do, and millions of pensioners and those approaching retirement will benefit from final salary pension schemes - often non-contributory - which are no longer open to current workers. The point is that and many pensioners are very well off and are now fairly - even generously - treated compared with many others in society. If you don't think that, try living on for example an unemployed single person's benefits.

  • Comment number 14.

    The fact that people who are forced to sell their property to pay for social care is a national scandal. There are ample funds available in the treasury that we, taxpayers, have contributed for generations but much of this money is hemorrhaging away on ridiculous quangos and other unnecessary costs like immigration and the European Union. We are spending £billions of pounds on health tourism, foreign aid, and uninvited foreigners who are coming in droves to sponge off of our welfare state - British taxpayers hard earned money.

    Get rid of these useless quangos like SEERA and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which are utterly unnecessary and immensely costly. Recently it was announced that the British Government has given an 'additional' £200million to Afghanistan, a country where our brave men and women are getting slaughtered for absolutely nothing.

    I am in the middle of a battle with a local council and CQC to provide better care for vulnerable adults in appalling nursing homes. It's about time we stopped mollycoddling the rest of the world and started to look after our own people. Don't let's hear that there is no money available - there is stacks!

  • Comment number 15.

    We all need to come up with suggestions on how to fund care in old age. My suggestion is a 2% sale tax on houses for everybody except first time sellers. Over a lifetime of moving house enough tax would be paid to fund some care. Other suggestions welcome.

  • Comment number 16.

    At the present time services are being reduced at a frightening rate. Eligibility criteria are being tightened. We really cannot wait 12 months for a report. Implementing the recommendations will take at least 6 months if not a year meanwhile older people are suffering.
    Below is a rather tongue in cheek job spec for a dementia carer, unfortunately it is not funny.

    Job Specification Home Carer

    • There is no age limit applicants can be aged 80 or over
    • Applicants will not have to pass a medical. Those with long term conditions such as Heart Disease, arthritis etc are not barred.
    • Those with limited outside interest may be preferred
    • Working Hours 6.00a.m to 10.00 p.m. Plus on call 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.
    • Holidays? What are they?
    • Income. Your income will drop.
    • Management Support. As a sole trader there is little or no support available.
    • If either you or the one you care for breaks down completely, then help will be provided.

    All those interested in this fantastic opportunity form an orderly queue

    How can we treat our fellow citizens in this way?
    Mike Nicholls

  • Comment number 17.

    I found it quite interesting that the programme omitted to point out that the family who were "forced" to sell to pay for care were placed in this position because they chose to place mum in a facility without a Local Authority contract. This was their decision so they must face the consequences.They could have chosen an alternative home where this would not necessarily have been the case.
    Also I was interested that there was no mention of what would happen to the new residents of The Extracare housing scheme should their needs change, i.e dementia or nursing care. They only seemed to employ carers, not nurses, and their main role was to help with washing, dressing, household tasks and leisure activities, unfortunately not all the residents will remain as fit as they are now and may need to be moved on in the future, unless I have misunderstood the care village concept.
    Finally, I would like to say that I do not believe we will ever find a solution to the care funding conundrum as there will always be people who will feel aggrieved that they are paying more than others for the same level of care.Just as with all means tested systems there will always be those who fall outside the set criteria and will feel that they are being penalised. There is simply not enough money in the government pot to fund the numbers of people who are going to require care in the future so we will just have to accept that those with the funds to pay will have to subsidise those who have been less fortunate in life.

  • Comment number 18.

    Reading what simonsays (item 4), demonstrates clearly that he is detached from reality. The reason we have governments is to produce an environment in which we can all live peacefully and prosperously in a stable environment, but what has transpired in my lifetime, I am now just 65, is a continuing shambles. The reason why we are all suffering today is because successive governments have totally let us down. There have been highly paid civil servants in government, who have had at their disposal masses of data, and who should be able to look ahead and allow for the future, but despite their cushy jobs and gold-plated pensions, they have failed us miserably. I fully understand that there is no perfect solution but what we are experiencing today, is utterly unacceptable.

    I am involved with a care home at present and am challenging the official agencies that are supposed to be regulating the service and caring for our elderly folk. The situation I have experienced with care in residential homes, is quite appalling, and the reaction of the service provider (a large national group) is equally unacceptable.

    The base problem is that 98 per cent of care homes in the UK are in the private sector, where profit is 'king'! Whether a sole trader, or a private or public limited company, profit has to be the prime objective otherwise it is down the tubes! And if things get dodgy, like in this recession, there have to be cut-backs and the inevitable consequence, is that residents will suffer. I am trying to get a public inquiry started to investigate two recent deaths through neglect - and what a battle it is going to be, as I am not one to give up!

    We need to stop people having to sell their homes to fund their care and to put in place a 'National Care Service', that is state funded, like the NHS, and stop vulnerable people dying unnecessarily, as I have witnessed. As I have posted previously, there is adequate money available, but instead of showering it on the parasitic spongers and looking after half the world, we should be concentrating our attention on our own precious fellow countrymen and women. Especially those who have worked hard and, in many cases, have fought and sustained terrible injuries to protect our once great nation - charity should start at home!

  • Comment number 19.

    If any of Panorama's researchers are reading these posts, I would be more than happy to appear on any programme that would expose the appalling situations our elderly people have to endure. I have loads of frightening information and am not afraid to spaek out!

  • Comment number 20.

    Well done Panorama for provoking some very valid questions about the future funding of adult social care in the UK and particularly to Joan Bakewell for emphasising the point that those in need of care now do not have the time to await yet more political handwringing about how to address the issue.
    While solutions for the future remain as Jeremy Vine put it “ a thorn in the side of many governments to come”, attention must surely focus on what is available now and the needs of those currently going through the process of arranging care. “Death, Taxes and Care Fees Planning! There's never a convenient time for any of them” (Margaret Mitchell put it so well in her novel Gone With the Wind although was of course referring to Death, Taxes and Childbirth!) the sentiment, however, seems appropriate.
    Those entering this ‘arena’ will experience a bewildering number of agencies frequently working at odds with each other. Indeed obtaining accurate information is in itself a challenge. I would clarify that the Asset Means Test Threshold for England is £23,250 and not £23,000 as stated in this evenings programme. It may also help to clarify what is meant by the reference to FREE personal care in Scotland, this is a reference to the payment of both a ‘Nursing Care Allowance’ and a ‘Personal Care Allowance’ and does not mean that ALL care in Scotland is ‘Free’.
    As a specialist adviser in this field I believe the first step to empowerment is knowledge and through our ‘Guide to Care Fees Planning’ we provide a truly comprehensive overview of the system you are entering.
    For those wanting information specific to their own situation go online to www.carefeesplus.co.uk /care2plan you’ll be able to fill in your circumstances and receive an Options Report based on that information.
    I would love to hear of your experiences, both good and bad, of the care system if you have or are in the process of arranging care. This helps us model our services to the public need and to lobby government and the financial providers to find solutions for tomorrow, today. Email me please on [Personal details removed by Moderator] and I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Comment number 21.

    How many of those who believe that the elderly should sell their hard earned assets to pay for their care in frail old age would feel the same if after paying into a welfare insurance scheme for forty years were told at maturity: “the scheme cannot afford its contractual obligation to you”. Would they simply shut up and sell up or would they seek answers? Would they also be overjoyed to hear that those who had contributed little or nothing to the scheme and been buffered by their work and contributions will reap the benefit? I think not!
    The social welfare system was not set up to provide simply for the poor it was a national scheme to provide for every one. The older generation now have paid in work taxation and contributions for the care of the previous generation - that is how the system works. To penalise a contributing older generation that has not only fulfilled an obligation to the previous generation but has also worked hard to provide for its self is an outrage.
    I shall seriously consider taking out the biggest interest free mortgage I can find and sharing the assets in order to join the ‘benefit dependency club’ who are much better served.

  • Comment number 22.

    Just wanted to respond to the comment by Sue Hunt who raises the point that every situation is individual, one size does not fit all. Sue please ensure you have applied for Attendance Allowance at the higher rate which amounts to £71.40 per week. Also don't stop insisting on medical assessments being carried out to ensure your current state of health is assessed. I hope you have access to a specialist financial adviser (by definition someone who's primary business is that of care fees planning not just someone holding the qualification (CF8)). There MAY be financial products that will help in your situation, unfortunately there is rarely an ideal solution to all circumstances, however, until all options are explored no one can know. I wish you well Sue and wish I could help more.

  • Comment number 23.

    comments from darren and I quote 'boomers' is most insulting, I and my husband have worked all our lifes and bought up 3 children, there was no benefits and the only way to feed our selves and our children was to work.
    Nights, days, menial jobs that did not pay enough money to buy into fabulous pensions, there was no equal pay just hard work often working along side a man who was paid twice as much as yourself for the same job and quantity of work.
    Both my husband and myself were born just after the war. we both left school at 15yrs and were expected to get a job and contribute to the family coffers. forget carnaby street the chance to be obnoxious, students, the likes of the working classes never got the opportunity for further education, even GCE's were a dream and luxury for the rich.
    We both served in the Royal Navy, no pensions, we lost our house in the terrible thatcher years, no help from the government. during all this we worked.
    That is until I had to give up work at 59yrs to care for my mother who has dementia.
    Golden pensions give me a break, benefits, don't make me laugh, go out and get a job darren and work for what I have, stop expecting everything on a plate.

  • Comment number 24.

    JoFirks (17 above) is concerned that residents living the 'village life' in Birmingham would be 'moved on' if they needed high level care. Not so, the concept delivers a flexible model of care in residents' own village homes, up to 24 hours a day. Care is supported by nursing staff where appropriate, with specialist help for those residents who develop dementia after they have moved to the village. The ambition is that residents can stay in the village for life and couples can remin together if the health of one partner deteriorates.

  • Comment number 25.

    I agree with Speechless but the comment does not go far enough. We are a divided society, on the one hand we have asset rich pensioners and on the other we have the asset poor. In both cases tax has been paid at every level of both income and consumption and successive governments have used this to promote their own politics. Now the pensioners who have worked and saved into a pension pot or into their property (a pension vehicle that has been better value than many pension companies offerings) and are to be penalised in favour of those that have not saved - this is just not fair. What also are we to do about the influx of immigration that will add more unfunded pressure on the system? Many astute pensioners have saved and have no issue with using some of those savings to fund final care needs its just not on to expect them to support the rest of society. The young have to understand that we live on an island and land is a finite resource and will become more so over time. If they allow their governments to tax and waste money on adventures overseas and pet projects and then steal more of the savings off the elderly savers there is no cascading of wealth down the generations to them it will all be wasted leaving them in a worse state than ever.

  • Comment number 26.

    Although the programme gave a lot of food for thought, there were some inaccuracies that I would have expected the BBC to get correct.

    The capital limit is £23,250 not £23,000 - as mentioned above; the need to pay for your own care has nothing to do with a "contract" between the lcoal authority and the care home, it depends on your assets, including your home, which the lady in the programme did own - although if daughter living there had been 60+ this should have been excluded; it was implied that social care in Scotland was free - it is, but you have to pay for your accommodation, which surprise surprise has increased in cost over recent years. It is vital that families with a member going into care get expert financial advice from an adviser that deals with this situation day in and day out - it is not sufficient to have the CF8 qualification, experience is a must, try Society of Later Life Advisers.

    Perhaps the BBC researchers should have spoken to one of the experts that deals with this on a regular basis, to ensure the information given out to the nation was correct. It is a shame that this opportunity to get information out to the public on such a large scale was not wholly accurate - as most people do not know where to turn to for advice when they or a family member go into care and may now be even more confused over issues.

  • Comment number 27.

    The issue of Care for the Elderly was very much in the news before the election with each party making ill thought through promises it was unlikely the country was going to be able to afford. The basic fact is there is a big problem moving forward with how the taxpayer, who the vast majority of are trying to bring up a family and put a roof over their heads, is going to pay for pensions and care for an ever increasing older poppulation- well done Joan for questioning why the taxpayer should be expected to protect peoples inheritance by footing the whole bill, and well done Panorama for rekindling the debate! However I have issue with how well researched the program was. The local authority capital limit for providing financial assistance in England is £23,250 and not £23,000. And to give the impression care in Scotland is free is misleading, ask any self funding resident in a care home in Scotland if it is free! The most disappointing thing was not one mention about seeking specialist care funding advice. The family who moved in with mother to care for her should have spoken to her local Social Services as she may have been eligable for Local Authority funding!! OK not in a £1000 week Care Home, but then the her property may well have been retained and the family not out of a home. Local Authorities have the disgretion to disregard a property if the carer has given up their home to care for that person, without knowing full details of this family's circumstances it is impossible to say whether they were eligable but I suspect they hadn't seeked good quality advice and it appears Panorama hadn't either!

  • Comment number 28.


    Sorry to have offended you, as it happens I do have a job, which I will doubtless be working at until I pop my clogs since there will be nothing left in the pot thanks to decisions that were made decades before I was born.

  • Comment number 29.

    The partnership option is the best option - but how to pay for the state element?
    There should be a £3 charge for visiting your GP. It's not much to pay and there would be dispensations for the most vulnerable. We pay for NHS dental check-ups so why not at the doctor's?
    This would bring in huge revenue which could be used for later life care.

  • Comment number 30.

    Although the episode did highlight some of the dilemmas that older people and their careers are facing it was at times a little unhelpful / unreasonable.

    The attitude that ‘if you have considerable assets they should all be sold to pay for your care’ seems a little too harsh, especially for ‘ordinary’ families who may have £100-200K. People with no/little assets get free care and those with major assets are at least cushioned from the potential care bill of £50K+.

    Little was mentioned of private insurance available or immediate care provision annuity. Ideally we do need a government-backed scheme, but to just say that the position is to cross your fingers and hope for the best and then have to pay for everything is not helpful or correct.

    My father died a few months ago after a short illness leaving everything to my mum, so if mum needs care in the future all her assets will count including the family home. I returned to live with my parents a few years ago to provide care as needed, my mum has mobility issues and my dad could not cope with all the housework / care. I work full time and have busy weekends and evenings fitting in all the housework and making sure that mum is ok. I don’t really like to leave her on her own for too long. I may have to work from home soon or give up work and then she may later need residential care.

    If we could pay a lump sum to guarantee that her future care needs would be met (rather than potentially making me homeless) we would pay it, hopefully we might be able to do this via an immediate care provision annuity? Has anyone any experience of this in practice?

  • Comment number 31.

    The programme failed to ask whom if any are exploiting the cost of elderly care. How can it cost £800 to £1000 per week to care for a person when most care staff are on the minimum wage. Its not as though each elderly person has a qualified nurse looking after them.

  • Comment number 32.

    Reference tmurrell. Book yourself into a good hotel for 7 days and have all your food and drink provided, bed made, room cleaned without any personal care and see how much that costs you. And most hotel staff are on a minimum wage! Many care homes charge less than half £800/1000 and it will also be down to the needs of the individual resident which may be complex in some cases. The other problem is if the resident's savings run down to the local authority (LA) funding level (£23,250 in England) then the local authority will only pay up to their funding rate which could be as little as £300 (and possibly less). Then the resident could be asked to leave the home (rare), or the family asked to "top up" the difference, or if the home accepts the LA rate it is likely the self funding residents are then cross-subsidising the LA residents and therefore the LA! The money the LA pay for care is often not enough for the services provided and most authorities haven't increased their rates this year. Get specialist care funding advice ASAP and don't leave it until your money has run out!!

  • Comment number 33.

    A few people have cleared up a few points on here around the Funding Levels etc. There is another point I would like to make and that is that its not as simple as saying someone has £100k and the Care fees are £25k so some one will run out of money after 4 years. for one somebody living in a care home paying for themselves will be able to claim attendance allowance £70.35 pw they still get their pension as well basic £98 pw on a £500 per week that means that you will spend £331.65 of savings etc. per week this means that a 100k would last 5.79 years and this is with a basic income.
    Another point I would like to make is that under the current system if you pay for your own care that does give you the choice of which care home you would like to go to, and not one chosen for you because you are funded by the LA, fewer and fewer beds are available for LA clients as the homes cannot afford to run at LA fee rates.
    In response to tmurrell it costs a lot more to run a care home than you might think, you have the initial set up costs probably £3 million plus depending on size you then have staff costs of running a minimum of 4 to 1 residents to carer this ratio increases with Dementia etc. There is also all kitchen, domestic, activities and maintence roles. Also it is a very regulated business and this all adds a burden of cost. There doesn’t seem to be an issue with other businesses in other walks of life making a profit so why cant care and after all if you want to reinvest into making a service better you need to be making a profit to do this.

  • Comment number 34.

    My husband and I had been married for over 20 years, when he had his stroke 3 years ago in China and yet the Court of Protection has taken on the mantle of all of my husband's financial affairs and his assessments by the NHS. I am not to be shown any of these, and the name of the nurse who took a statement from my husband, saying that I was not to be involved in his future care is to be kept from my notice. Consequently, I am at a loss as to how to defend myself, I am excluded from everything to do with my husband, who is still alive in a care home, paralysed, cannot speak (he has not done so since the day of his stroke) doubly incontinent, cannot swallowany lumps, so has to have his food pureed and be fed and with the brain of a 9 month old. Yet he made this statement, supposedly to a nurse at Kings Lynn Hospital. I requested this information under the Freedom of Information Act yet they say that this is not to be shown to me. I have even taken this to the Minister for Justice, the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman and they decided that no action was to be taken. Who else is there left?

    Apparently, he does not qualify for 24 hour continuing care and has been assessed for this, personally I think you would have to be dying to qualify for this!

    He has paid his national insurance stamp for 50 years of working life and is now to be denied the luxury (if you can call it that and I can send you pictures of him in his home!)of a place in a home.

  • Comment number 35.

    I found Joan Bakewell's programme very interesting, but in some ways, disappointing. Being a full time carer for my Mother (I live with her as she is unable to live alone, because of her fraility and memory problems)I was surprised that 'carers', who look after a friend, family member, spouse, who is elderly, who care out of love, were not mentioned as playing a vital role in elderly care.

    In the lead up to the General Election the Carers Charities worked hard to bring the 'issues facing carers' into the political arena, and certain promises were made. The harsh reality is that we now have cut-backs, and carers are going to suffer more problems.

    I believe that keeping an elderly person in their own home as long as is possible benefits them - it has certainly played a vital role with my Mother's recovery from a life-threatening illness and a long spell in hospital. However, at 88, she is very frail, arthritic, anxious, confused, has bladder problems, and her memory is poor.

    I am actually one of the baby boomers (born in 1948) and have worked very hard all of my life since I was 17. When my marriage broke down I brought my 3 daughters up alone for 10 years without resorting to 'help from the state'. I worked a 50 hour week to keep my family going. I live on a State Pension so do not received 'Carers Allowance'. Without meaning to sound as if I am moaning, my life has not been a picnic!

    My Mother worked as Red Cross Nurse through the War, in the blitz, she's not had an easy life either, so the point I am trying to get across is that she deserves the best of care, and as her carer, I believe I (and millions of carers) do not deserve to be worried constantly about finances, battles with the DSS, worsening health because of our caring role (personally I have had spinal surgery and suffer chronic pain). I is looking rather a bleak at present with our Governments cuts, and I am worried.

  • Comment number 36.

    My own mother is having to sell her own house to pay for care which I think is very unfair as she too has worked all her life and never taken handouts. As these are the rules we have to abide by them but I think what really sticks in the craw is the fact that she is having to subsidise those that manage to work the BENEFIT SYSTEM from the cradle to the grave!!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    Dear BBC/Panaroma`
    I have watched your informative documentries since sat in front of front of television.
    This informatative media has improved my whole understanding of the planet for a small annual fee, visual & more explained than books.
    you it`s a but.
    Here we go.
    I Have to to complain,Not any fault of BBC.
    You can use this as a Title."Land fit for heroes".

    I am disgusted that young men & women fought against evil & won in the 2nd world war in our so land of "land fit for heroes".
    And now these people who survived who fought for our freedom are older & the campaign won are forgotten.
    Our nation should have a duty to ensure the personnel involved are looked after with the most professional care.Our nation Average age was 18 years old. Many now have past on.
    The few that have survived We owe a great gratitude for all modern & prosperity.

    As a small note:-
    My name is kEVIN sHIELDS.
    my Grandfather:- Robert Hickland
    Brothers: David.
    Who through young enthusiam & Irish Gaul fought our foreign Foe.
    Young Men who didn`t Have to join BUT DID.

    This is type of person who fought for our freedom.
    They all deserve our care,our help.THEY NEED US NOW!!!
    Or we wouldn`t be here.
    Pensioners are Tough, THEY WON FOR US AT A COST."LIVES OUR FREEDOM".

    Were they not instructed "A LAND FIT FOR HEROES".

  • Comment number 38.

    After watching Panorama this week,I am confused as to why my husband and his brother had to sell thier fathers home 3 years ago, in order for them to have the funding, so that their dad, could be put into a nursing home.
    No we do not reside in England, but up in Scotland, which your program stated that, looking after the elderly was free in Scotland, and the same should come about in England.
    While i totaly agree that all eldery care should be free..they deserve this, i would like to point out that not all is FREE!!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    All I can say does anybody think it's right that a person who works most of their life to get a house to make sure their kids are ok for the future or to sell up for comfortable retirement for them to have to give it most away to the government after paying all them taxes and NI contribution when they need care.
    Only for someone who has never worked always got benefits live in a council house to keep getting care when they get older for nothing.
    To me how this is fair even when you have retired you still get give more back to the government.
    How come care, water, hospital parking, tuition fees are all free in Scotland why do we the English keep getting seen of by our own government?
    For a first that’s look at our so called MP's how come they get to keep their profit from their second home after been paid for by the tax payer. How come so many people work on weekends in a job that the big companies are cutting hours of staff when the government are paying the jobless a wage and every weekend off? Why can’t they be made to come in and help the toilet cleaners the office cleaners the pot washers the retail and food industry personnel also the military who have to work 1 in 3 weekends but have to clean the ship / barracks or any kind of cleaning extra duties to give an extra hand? Make them earn their job seekers allowance? But this does not mean the company can take more hours away from their current staff just sign an agreement to say that all current staff and hours have to be made 100% safe before they can take on these work shy people (not all but a vast majority) back to work over the weekend and give a helping hand to all them over worked short staffed people.

  • Comment number 40.

    As a pensioner, I find it very sad that most people consider the care of elderly people as a burden on the state.
    What everybody seems to forget is that the majority of pensioners have worked very hard and paid our taxes on our income. some of us had to do two or more jobs to acquire what we have today ie our homes etc. with the hope that we will be cared for in our old age.Our pesions are still being taxed, we are still paying counciltax. may i ask what we are paying for and why if people are grudging us reaping the benefits of our sweat.
    People forget that we are still paying for the young generation to be kept comfortable on state benefits. The same people are complaining about care of the elderly.
    My second point is, a lady on the panorama proramme gave up her council home to move into this home for the elderly. That sounds very hounorable, but did she ever work? If she did,are we forgeting that her housing has been subsidised by the state all her life and her care will still be subsidised.she will have nothing to loose when she dies. Where is the fairness in the rest of us having to sell our homes to buy into this scheme in the nursing home and have our money ploughed back into the sytem when we die? In order not to be a burden on the state, could we not have all our taxes refunded so we can make our own arrangements for our care? That way we will not be such a burden on the state. Please get more youngsters into work and the dole money can be recycled. From Awo.

  • Comment number 41.

    I found this really interesting as a 34 year old who due to a car crash now have spinal problems the clear indications are that as i get older i will need help. I found the complex in Birmingham a real option for people. I dont think that the social fund should totally pay for my care as i get old their should be a percentage paid. But what happened to the suggestion of insurance for care?
    I watched my nan have to go from a warden controlled bungalow to a care home. We cared for her as long as we could but her dementia just got worse if she had lived in a complex like birmingham she would never had needed to leave her home. Please dont get me wrong as an ex nurse i could not fault the care given at the home they were wonderful carers and as we all know not all homes are like this.

  • Comment number 42.

    I am somewhat irritated that programmes about the 'poor taxpayers' who are going to carry the burden of paying for older peoples' pensions and welfare. I am 74 years of age at the time of writing and am a taxpayer!
    My income consists of the State pension (which is taxed at source by subtracting its annual amount from my Personal Allowance); my Naval Retired Pay is taxed at source at the standard rate; my Teacher's Pension is simila at sourcerly taxed. Hence, apart from the residue of my Personal Allowance, my entire income is taxed.
    The next generation who are in gainful employment do, at least, have the opportunity to increase their income - I do not, and any additional taxation is going to make me progressively poorer.
    Those of my generation were commonly in employment throughout their working lives and paid our taxes and National Insurance contributions so as to provide pensions and social benefits for others; now it is our turn. All this is never mentioned when sob-stories about the younger generation are broadcast - in the interest of even-handedness, it should be.

  • Comment number 43.

    Speechless hits the nail on the head saying: “With Dad they started a mortgage in 1952. They were poor working class... I do not have enough fingers to count the people of her generation who I know who chose to spend their money rather than have a mortgage... look after yourself and you are penalised.” Speachless so true, this is the view of many thousands of middle-aged and elderly people.
    Jofirks says “so we will just have to accept that those with the funds to pay will have to subsidise those who have been less fortunate in life.” Not ‘less fortunate’ to have spent everything enjoying a social life etc, not saved, and then expect those who did save to subsidise you!!!!
    Sparklingsilver sets the record straight: “The social welfare system was not set up to provide simply for the poor, it was a national scheme to provide for everyone...To penalise a contributing older generation that has not only fulfilled an obligation to the previous generation but has also worked hard to provide for itself is an outrage.”
    My parents believed they had already paid their dues to provide for their old age, how DARE Mr Humphries of King’s Fund intimate that such elderly folk now wish to sponge off the tax-payer. Mr Humphries they paid for it with the sweat of their brow while others were probably having a manicure in a posh salon. Just read Rufus post, how can all these people be wrong? They paid, just as my age group paid taxes for our kids’ education only to find ourselves robbed of that too.
    One final point, the authorities are very quick to tell people that they cannot return to their own homes but fail to say if that is the case they will have to use that home ultimately to pay for their care. More people should say no, more should hang back from the pressure of rushing their loved ones from hospital to care home. How many discharge wards are horrible? I know here we have super wards everywhere but the discharge wards are unspeakable. Hence people cannot wait to get their loved ones out of there, no coincidence.
    Please take on the system, don’t sit back and take what is meted out. The processes are there to take the system on, but it needs courage,tenacity and time. Watch for the lies, refuse to be bullied, put everything in writing and read every bit of information available. The Alzheimers’ Society, Parkinson’s UK, The Nursing Care forum, Moneysaving Expert, Solicitors for the Elderly...all these are sources of information. Having said that the past 2 years of fighting have taken their toll, so maybe it’s ok to roll over and let the state take it all.


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