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4 facts you didn’t know about UK elderly care

Julie Lord
 


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Before you make any final decisions about elderly care for either yourself or for a loved one, it is important that you are aware of all of your options and all of the facts. The more you know about elderly care in the UK, the better equipped you are to make the right decisions for you or your relative when it comes to their long-term care plan.

Average ages are on the up

People are living longer now than ever before, and it is estimated that this is a trend which is going to continue in years to come. Recent studies suggest that the life expectancy of a person born in the 1906’s was around 70 years, however, those born in 2010 have a life expectancy closer to 80 years. With increasing advancements in medicine and increased awareness of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, elderly people are living much longer and are requiring more support during the latter years of their lives.

Isolation and loneliness have a negative impact on physical health

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that isolation and feelings of loneliness can negatively affect both the physical and mental wellbeing of older individuals. Dr John Cacioppo, who is a renowned neuroscientist and psychologist at the University of Chicago, found that there feelings of loneliness are linked to poor cognitive performance and quicker cognitive decline. His research shows that loneliness can exacerbate symptoms of degenerative brain diseases such as dementia.

Research by the Live-in Care Hub also shows a link between social isolation and poor mental and physical health. Certain studies have also shown that both isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in those over the age of 52.

Your local council may pay towards the cost of elderly care

You or an elderly relative may be entitled to financial help towards the cost of elderly care but there are limitations on how much social care you may be able to claim. If you, or your loved one, have less than £23,350 in savings then you may be entitled to financial help towards the cost of care from your local council.

The amount of financial help your council may pay will depend on the level of care you or your loved one require, and also on the amount that you can afford to pay for yourself. Your local authority will carry out a needs assessment to determine the level of care required and to determine how much of the care you can afford to pay for yourself.

Social care can also cover home care

Many people are under the impression that financial help they receive from local authorities will only be granted if their elderly relative is in a care home but this is not true. Social care budgets can also be spent on homecare services such as domiciliary care and live-in care. This can help elderly people access care and support within their own homes which allows them to retain their independence for as long as possible.

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