Older people who need social care support are increasingly being expected to act as consumers - often with enormous price tags attached. Around one in ten elderly people with care needs now face care costs of over £100,000. Yet only one in 10 adults aged 55 or over say they've put aside money to pay for care needs as they get older.
As the Government prepares its forthcoming green paper on social care, Which?’s report: Beyond Social Care: Keeping Later Life Positive, signals that any policy proposals that put the burden of planning for care on ordinary people may be doomed to fail.
The system must recognise that people are unlikely to plan for their care and should be designed to act quickly and effectively at times of crisis - when many people interact with the care system for the first time.
It should also encourage people to think about small but significant lifestyle steps they can take to continue living independently and enjoyably at home for as long as possible.
The Government should also ensure people can get high-quality, tailored advice about their care options and have access to information from sources they trust.
Which? is calling on the Government to use its forthcoming social care green paper to take these insights on consumer behaviour into account and create a social care system that works for consumers.
See our full report: