Report finds that social care 'time bomb' has left 'gaping hole' in families’ finances

Our Chief Executive, Jeremy Hughes, has released a comment regarding the recent report by GMB about people 'trapped' in debt due to social care costs.

A report by GMB has found that more than 160,000 people are 'trapped' in debt because they can’t afford to pay for their social care.

GMB union sent Freedom of Information requests to every local authority in Britain with responsibility for social care, which revealed that:

  • almost 1,200 people have been taken to court by local authorities for social care debts.
  • at least 166,835 people are in arrears on their social care payments.
  • more than 78,000 having debt management procedures started against them by their authority for non-payment of social care charges.

The true figure is expected to be higher, as some authorities did not respond.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, says:

'As this report powerfully shows, the social care system is in dire straits. The social care crisis is a dementia crisis - hundreds of thousands of people with dementia rely on social care every day in the UK. These people are typically paying £100,000 out of their own pockets for their care, which our recent report, Dementia – the true cost, found would take 125 years to save.*

'Dementia is a devastating condition, which slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities. No one chooses to have dementia, yet we are seeing people caught between a rock and a hard place trying to meet payments for basic care needs.

'With the Green Paper on the horizon, there has never been a better time for the Government to take control of this issue. We must ensure such painful examples of families being bankrupted by care fees and woefully inadequate care provision are a thing of the past.'

*If you saved at the same rate as for a pension.

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