Free personal care: how to eliminate catastrophic costs

Cover Free Personal Care

This report focuses on one of the significant benefits of free personal care, namely, how it can eliminate catastrophic costs for all older people receiving care.

In so doing, this analysis also highlights how various proposals to cap the costs of care would leave the majority of older people at risk of catastrophic costs, while costing the government not much less than free personal care.

With free personal care, older people will receive care free at the point of use, like the NHS. Independent Age believe that the introduction of free personal care will have significant benefits for both the public and the government, including:

  • Markedly reducing unmet need
  • Supporting more people to get care in their own home, reducing the need for more costly residential care
  • Eliminating catastrophic costs for individuals and their families
  • Creating parity between the support for different long-term conditions
  • Allowing family carers to provide more emotional support
  • Reducing pressure on the NHS, and promoting integration between health and social care

It would also clearly demonstrate that we are a society that values and supports the dignity and independence of people in later life.