Do we need more Care Homes ?

A recent report by Newcastle University looked at the forecast levels of frailty in the older population and reached the conclusion that there is a need for 71,000 new care home places in the next 10 years.

I don’t doubt that their figures are correct.  It is just their conclusion that is wrong !

As the population ages the number of older, older people requiring some degree of support is certainly set to increase.   The more critical questions are :-

  • ” Where do they want to receive the care ?”
  • ” Who do they want to be cared for by ?”
  • ” How can they or their family pay for it ?”

The Newcastle study didn’t seek to answer these questions.   They are the £64,000 questions and therein lies the problem.

I will attempt to move the discussion along:-

Firstly, most people would like to be looked after at home.   This is relatively expensive and quality control is difficult.    However, there are certainly psychological benefits from being in your own familiar environment.   Since the State has largely totally withdrawn from this area, you have to be fairly wealthy to afford this solution.

Secondly, they want help from a stable (not ever-changing) and trained support team.   People they know and trust and people who know them as an individual not just a set of tasks.     For many people this may be little more than domestic help initially.    Later some will need more hands on care at times during the day.  They would also benefit from a regular review of their support and health needs by a nurse ideally on a monthly/quarterly basis.    Preventative  well-being checks have proven value.

Thirdly, paying for this kind of care at home has been under-valued by the expectation that health care is free for those that need it.     It never has been free, we have all paid for it in taxes, but we have not paid enough.     No one foresaw the big increase in longevity, nor the improvements in medical care that have kept us alive for longer, albeit with the frailties of old age.     The good news for many older people is, they are living in an asset that has over their lives accumulated in value.      Now they must use the value of their house to secure their future care and support needs.

What I have just outlined in housing and support terms is a retirement village.     But to deliver 71,000 new homes  would amount to around  300 retirement villages, at a capital cost in the order of £15 billion.

I will figure out how to do it in my next blog 😀

This entry was posted in Residential Care, RETIREMENT HOUSING. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Do we need more Care Homes ?

  1. Alex Robinson says:

    I am puzzled. You state “What I have just outlined in housing and support terms is a retirement village.” You then go on to suggest that 300 such villages equate to £15 billion. But surely, much of this cost is the land purchase and capital building aspect – which already exists if we use people’s homes, except perhaps for modifications such as stair lifts. So should’t the cost we should be looking at be the yearly running costs of 300 villages? It will still be huge but it is more akin to the revenue we need to realise to provide the care.

  2. davidwfreeman237 says:

    do you lay on ones back, and get ones ‘pussy tickled’? But hey! watch out for those unseathed claws, you could be badly scratched, or should I say mauled, by the ‘Pussy’?
    JOhn, has alluded to care in ones home?Alex has drawn the conclusion of a retirement village concept? Where does one go? for the best solution?
    A concept of a retirement village, with various facilities, needs to be of a minimum size to be both viable from a financial, and social point of view.
    The cost of care is the conundrum? and if supplied, administered at a common point, possibliy acceptable to the individual fee paying user, and the ‘as supported social-welfare tenent?.
    From my personal experience of living in a typical Extracare Charities Trust Retirement village for the past 10 years, as a leased resident, I support the system as employed for a typical village.
    Housing a third-leased-shared rented-social/council and private?[a total of some 250-300 appartment giving some 350 420 residents plus friends of the village] A mixed age group from 55 to 95+ with various but not all obvious mobility problems, An active resident population willing to support and run activities, by voluntary work. Among this population there are those that are house bound and require care and support with day to day living { no more than say a third of the total residents.} These are some of the basic concepts, one is not admitted unless one signs up to independent living, and willing to be to some extent with ‘peace of mind’ to remain independent, and where restricted in health and mobility terms willing to with support willing to partake in some of the village activities and social occasions.
    The concepts have to be carefully and delicately managed with compassion by the Organisation and its staff to ensure the village ages as a village and not a centre or ‘dump’ of the elderly-unfit/unwell into a common amenity where death is the only outcome? on a daily basis. One has to be realistic old age can be and is fun? Death is part of life, as is infirmaty, but not in ones face day after day, one wishes, I wish to have companions and friends to whom I can relate to with humour, and share some experiences: where the organisation the Charitable Trust like Extracare make each day a pleasure and an experience, without the ravages of old age starkly staring one in the face?
    Life for me as an elderly person has to be managed, and I respectfully am thankful if the original concepts of a retirement village are maintained.
    I have sunk my life’s assets into a retirement village concept, and am thankfull for the venture capalists who had the faith to invest in bricks and mortar, however as John has said quoted on many occassion it is the residents who dictate and make the retirement village a place to live! So please listen if you have the will and the vision to full fill ones golden years with excitement, and contentment. [-not sleeping and lots of TV without drive to remain as an indepentent entity.]

  3. Great! I agree with your opinion. Looking forward to read the next article.

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