This report shows how care home fees paid by councils have fallen by 3.9% (in real terms) over the past two years, whilst care homes have been exposed to disproportionate increases in their main costs. It provides reasoned evidence to clarify the fee shortfall, with an analysis of the main components of care home costs, how these are affected by inflation and how much local authority fee rates might have to rise to meet the cost of care.
The report indicates the level of local authority fee increases needed to overcome recent trends, as the minimum for providing adequate funding to ensure that older people get the high quality care they deserve.
Dementia is a cause of admission for about a third of residents of residential care homes. Specialist dementia care is more expensive to provide, because of the need for higher levels of care staff (and skills) per resident. Local councils usually recognise this, and pay a premium for dementia care. The average fee for residential care of older people with dementia, paid by local authorities, was £461.70 in 2009/10. This was £11 below the “floor” specified in the Laing & Buisson / Joseph Rowntree range (£472 – £538) and £76 below the “ceiling”.
The cost structure for a residential home for older people with dementia, England 2011/12, is indicated. According to forward trends, local authority fees will be £464 on average in financial year 2011/12, which is below the fair fee “floor” for residential care for both frail elderly people (£468) and for older people with dementia (£497),
Ensuring local authority fee levels reflect the real costs of caring for vulnerable older people: a fair deal. Research carried out for Bupa by Laing & Buisson. London: Bupa, November 2011.