At long last the Dilnot Commission has produced its report into how we can afford to pay for older people’s care.
The problem had been that while those with no assets had their care paid for by the state, those with even small amounts of savings, or a property, would lose everything as they had to pick up 100 per cent of the care bill.
Dilnot suggests a cap on the amount a person has to pay if they have assets and predicts that by defining this contribution, which had previously been open-ended, the insurance market will be able to produce products to cover this.
The Commission report is a big step forward in tackling an issue which has been in governments’ ‘too tough’ in-tray for too long.
There are government plans to produce a White Paper early next year which will consult and devise a system to ensure everyone gets good quality care, expected to cost about £2bn a year.
We must ensure that is realistic costing and takes into account the current massive unmet need, especially for older people who require help in their own homes.
We must also ensure there is diversity in the financial services that are developed and remember this is the most diverse group we are catering for, whose age range spans 50 years or more.
Finally we cannot underestimate the publicity push that will be needed to get people to take out such products.