Living with the kids won’t save social care
Posted by: Alistair Clay | 20.10.15

In a recent newspaper interview the new Care Minister Alistair Burt made it crystal clear that state funded elderly care for all is a thing of the past.

Commentating on the constraints of tax payer-funded care services he said: “I have no hesitation in saying I don’t think the state is going to be able to cover this.

“This needs a new bargain and partnership between the people and the state. The earlier that partnership begins, the better.”

Mr Burt hinted that the future was likely to consist of many more multi-generational homes and that more people will probably have mum or dad living with them at some stage in the future.

This is all well and good but this is unlikely to solve the funding crisis in social care.

Unlike 20, or even ten years ago, older people are much more likely to move into a care home right at the end of their lives when their care needs can be quite advanced, way beyond the capability of a full-time working son or daughter.

In the case of dementia, which affects around 800,000 people in the UK, only a full-time care service can provide the level of assistance that is required to assist an individual living with the condition in its latter stages.

So whilst it might be good to have mum or dad living with the adult children it doesn’t really address the need for expert, round the clock social care.

The paradox is that those older people who are in good health won’t need/want to live with their adult children and many of those whose health is failing will need more care than just ‘living with’ their children.

While I’m sure the Mr Burt is indeed right that there will be more multi-generational homes in the future I suspect it will be more for personal financial reasons, i.e the cost of housing.

As people live longer the need for high quality, truly personalised social care will increase not diminish and the State, in partnership with the private sector, will have to look at other funding models.