- Age UK research found 48,400 older people in care homes are paying charges
- Its director, Caroline Abrahams, said they were ‘stealth taxes’ on families
- The charity said some families are being told to pay the top-up or ‘move out’
Thousands of families are having to pay expensive ‘top ups’ for their relatives’ care home stay – even though they were told they would be getting it free.
An investigation has found that a quarter of those told their care would be free are having to pay stealth charges that can run into thousands of pounds.
Age UK said its research had found that 48,400 older people in care homes are paying the charges, which can exceed £100 a week.
This is despite the fact they have already met the tough conditions for their costs to be paid entirely by their local council.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said the charges were ‘stealth taxes’ on families, many of whom were being put in ‘horrible situations’. Pictured: A stock image of an elderly man being cared for in a home
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said the charges were ‘stealth taxes’ on families, many of whom were being put in ‘horrible situations’.
The investigation found that older people are being welcomed into care homes – but just weeks later are being told they have to pay top-ups of up to £160. Town halls are then telling families they will have ‘pay the top up or move out’.
In some cases, hospital discharges are being held up by requirements for top-ups that families cannot afford – adding to the problem ad NHS bedblocking.
And Age UK has found examples of care homes improperly demanding top ups direct from families.