Innovating for Ageing brings together groups with expertise in working with vulnerable people with experts and innovators who can provide solutions to the problems faced by vulnerable consumers.
On the 19th June 2018 we heard from experts in a range of vulnerabilities who described the problems that need to be solved.
During the event, we also launched the Innovating for Ageing competition. We invite start-ups, innovators and solution finders to submit ideas for products and services, and our expert Judging Panel will narrow entries down to our finalists.
For more information and to download an application pack, visit www.innovatingforageing.uk
This problem was presented by The Personal Finance Society on the 19th June 2018
Good morning everybody,
I want to talk to you about one of the biggest challenges facing older vulnerable individuals in our society. Access to good quality care. Now I’m sure most of the people in this room know that across the UK health care, the medical conditions is free at the point of need and the responsibility of the NHS unlike social care often described as support for activities of daily living, which is the responsibility of local authorities and eligibility is means tested. For most people the practical implications of this distinction are hard to grasp. Furthermore, the care system across the UK is complex, it is disjointed, it is under extreme pressure from an ageing population and this plays out from public scrutiny in the day to day stresses and struggles of those who are older, often disabled, and almost always vulnerable.
I feel partially to a sense of self-interest, but approximately 75 per cent of you in this room the stresses and strains will come into sharp focus at some point in time in your lives. When you, or a family member, either need social care or you join the 6 plus million people across the UK who find themselves initially caring at least for a family member. Some of you may already be here. Those of you who are will know that when this happens, many will ultimately be faced with a number of challenges, and I want to pick up on 3.
Firstly, a lack of basic knowledge about how the care system actually works. The public has little understanding of how social care operates and even less understanding of how it is funded. A recent consumer poll by Deloitte’s shows that 63 per cent of respondents thought the NHS provided social care services for older people, and 47 per cent thought it was completely free.
Secondly, the second challenge, not knowing who to turn to for help. Often at a time of emotional turmoil. Many people, as I’m sure you know, enter the care system following hospital discharge. Easy access to urgent, accurate clear information and guidance in respect of how the complex system works is lacking at this point for the vast majority. Evidence points to a lack of a single organisation or brand or profession or website or any other source of basic reliable information that most consumers are aware of to help establish their needs, to navigate the care system, to structure or source good quality appropriate care services and establish eligibility for funding. This is why, and it is captured on the quote on my slide from the Kings Fund, an independent charity working to improve health and social care, this is pretty much the reason why.
Thirdly, and lastly, a lack of trust or safe space to engage with professional health. The majority, including those who end up paying for their own social care, fail to secure professional help in respect of both unregulated care advice and paying for care advice to the extent that local authorities suggests that 25 per cent of those who fund their own care simply run out of money. And whilst financial advisors are the only qualified individuals who are allowed to advise on always of paying for care including ways of tapping that liability, the reality remains that they are not yet a profession that many of the more vulnerable in society inherently trust or know how to access. So there is an urgent need to deal with the challenges and in so doing provide basic answers to some of the key questions vulnerable individuals in urgent need of care have. How does this system operate? What types of care are available to meet my needs? How much will it cost? Who is going to pay for it? And where do I go for accurate information, guidance and help?
Now as we await the Green Paper on care in England, I am not convinced politicians are well placed to provide solutions to these problems. If only for no other reason than it will require a painful process of revealing to the public just how broken the current system is.
The vulnerable in need of care span both genders, all social, economic and educational backgrounds. They need your help now, help in respect of new ideas and solutions to the problems I just hope I have done justice to. Thank you for listening and I look forward to question
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