The proposed new changes to the Care Bill have the potential to generate a huge increase in demand for specialist care advice.
New adult social care rules are likely to arrive with a bang rather than a whimper. With the cost of care capped for the first time, all those paying for their own care will be motivated to get the meter ticking as soon as they can.
From 2016, local authorities in England will become the single point of entry to the care system and will not only have the power to set the meter running but also be faced with a responsibility to ensure people have access to independent financial advice and information.
The Care Bill changes will affect the thousands of people needing to access care for the first time every year, but many of those already using the system.
Of more than 400,000 older residents in independent sector care homes in the UK, around 175,000 (43 per cent) paid the full costs and a further 56,000 (14 per cent) paid some of their care costs.
That does not include the 325,000 self-funders paying for care in their own homes.
There is no escaping the financial implications of needing care.
And already the squeeze on local authority funding is impacting on the amount they can spend on care.
Ultimately, the Government wants to encourage people to take responsibility for their own care costs in later life and to protect those needing care from running out of money.
From research carried out for us by YouGov we know that nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of people said they would definitely or probably seek financial advice if faced with significant care costs.
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