The government's eligibility for long-term care (LTC) is set too high and will exclude many elderly people who need support; charities have warned.
Last week the government set out its proposals for who will and who won't be eligible for social care from 2015 under the new Care Act.
However, charity campaigners have warned that the fine print of the reforms, such as definitions over daily tasks, will exclude many people from receiving care.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK told the BBC: "The regulations are written in such a way that we worry that people with dementia who need help to continue to live at home with dignity could be screened out, together with those who struggle with dressing, or washing, or going to the toilet or preparing food."
Meanwhile, Richard Kramer, deputy chief executive at Sense, said: "The Care Act is an incredible opportunity for politicians to finally get social care right in the UK. However, under the regulations the threshold for people to become eligible for social care is set far too high. As a result, many older and disabled people will miss out on the services they desperately need for day-to-day life."
In addition, Mike Adamson, managing director of operations at British Red Cross warned that "hundreds of thousands" will risk not getting any state funded support, including those who needed assistance with informal care such as shopping or managing their finances.
He added: "Although the Care Act's focus on prevention is a welcome ambition, it will not be enough to support these people. Funding for prevention is already limited and there is simply not enough to cover everyone who is ineligible for care. Indeed, our own research shows that less than a quarter (23%) of Councillors think the Act will have a positive impact on constituents with low-level needs."
Meanwhile, Andrew Kaye, head of policy at Independent Age urged that the change in the law needed to be "backed up by realistic levels of funding" and transparency.
He said: "This three-month consultation provides us with a vital opportunity to strengthen the rules governing who gets charged what for their care. We want to see more protection for older people and their relatives so they don't unwittingly pay more for their care home fees than they need to. Too many families feel they have no other option than to ‘top up' care home fees and pay for care they cannot afford.
"We want to see more transparency in the system so people only pay a top-up through choice, not necessity."
Kaye also said that the cap on care fees, to be set at £72,000, will not cap the costs a typical person might face in residential care.
He concluded: We also know that only 8% of men aged 85 and 15% of women over this age really stand to benefit from the cap once it is introduced in 2016. We welcome plans to end the ‘catastrophic' care costs someone might face over a four- or five- year period once they have moved into a care home, but the cap will only ever benefit a minority. The government needs to be clear and up-front with people about what the care cap actually puts a cap on."
The Department of Health will be accepting written submissions to the consultation on until 15 August 2014.
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