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LLLE: Care system ‘untenable’ and ‘likely to deteriorate’ but finance can provide solutions

  • 26/01/2021
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LLLE: Care system ‘untenable’ and ‘likely to deteriorate’ but finance can provide solutions
The UK’s provision of care for older people is “untenable” and in drastic need of reform, but the finance sector should take a lead in finding solutions, the Later Life Lending Event has heard.


Gen Re Life regional manager for UK and Ireland Jules Constantinou explained the failings in the current system were significant and things were likely to get worse before they got better.

“Current outcomes are really not acceptable and demographic trends are going to worsen that situation,” he said.

Constantinou highlighted that the state system is “really complicated”, is not universal across the UK and that this jumble “makes it very difficult for families in crisis to know what they are entitled to”.

“The situation right now is untenable. It means there is a huge informal unpaid carer market,” he added.

However, Constantinou argued that the financial services industry had a large contribution to make towards improving the situation, and that included advisers.

“Before we can make a meaningful contribution there needs to be reform of the underlying state system – to primarily improve outcomes for the community and to increase awareness of the state promise in this sphere,” he said.

“This will enable yourselves and your clients to plan for any future care costs.”


Come up with solutions

But he urged providers, with the support of advisers, to be bold and take the first step in terms of developing further solutions to funding long-term care provision.

“One of the comments I’ve heard made recently is that the government does not believe that the insurance industry has any interest in or desire to step in to create a market for long-term care,” he continued.

“There’s always the chicken and egg stories – who goes first? Do we step into the void or does the government step into the void?”

He added: “I do think providers and advisers will need to come up with solutions that make sense for the people and our customers that are out there already. They are going to need our advice absent any state system.”


Prepare clients for care needs

Finally, Constantinou added that advisers could also help prepare their clients for the potential of needing long-term care and how they may want to fund that well before it became an urgent need.

“When people get to retirement it is important to talk to them about care, to make them aware of the costs of care and how much it might be and how much they might need to set aside,” he said.

“What are their wishes when going in to care, what type of care do they want, do they want to be cared for in their home?

“So I think it’s important they legally, financially and emotionally start facing up to the fact that most people should get to a ripe old age and will need care at some point in the future,” he concluded.


You can register to watch the Later Life Lending Online Event here:

Presentations will be available to watch for 30 days after today’s event.


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