Industry Voice: With an ageing population, Vitality can help advisers prepare clients for later life care
People tend to postpone considerations concerning later life care often until they faced with the problem, at which point they tend to ill prepared and unaware of the options and support available to them.
While we may not want to think about ageing, later life is indeed a big part of our lives. The world's population is getting older and by 2066, life expectancy is projected to reach 98 years for females and 96 years for males1. An aging population means more care will be required, exacerbated with conditions such as dementia.
Care is one of the most important elements to consider when talking about quality of life as we get older. It is therefore essential to make sure people are aware of their options and plan for care in advance, both from a financial and logistic point of view.
Here are some of the reasons why you should include later-life planning in your conversations with your clients:
- TO MAKE THEM AWARE OF THE BARRIERS TO STATE FUNDING
A widespread misconception about elderly care is that the state will pay for it and that therefore one doesn't need to save or plan for it in advance. However, councils only offer support to those with high care needs, and eligibility for publicly funded social care in England has been falling since at least 2006, reaching 18% in 2012 (latest data available)2.
Furthermore, the financial eligibility thresholds for receiving local authority support are very low, meaning most people, and even those with low savings, will have to pay for care themselves.
- TO HELP THEM GET A CLEARER PICTURE OF WHAT ARRANGING CARE ENTAILS
By thinking about care earlier, your clients will have plenty of time to find out about the options available, including those regarding funding, so that when the need arises they will have a clear picture of what type of support may be best for them and how to pay for it.
- TO MAKE FAMILY DISCUSSIONS EASIER
Caring for a loved one can have an emotional and mental toll as well. Our parents bring us up and do everything for us when we are children, so it can come as a shock when they start to require care themselves. It is important for family members to discuss one's preferred care arrangements well in advance, as this will prevent conflict if a decision has to be made when an urgent need suddenly arises. There is also a lot of comfort in being able to set up a care arrangement everybody has agreed upon and which you know your loved one feels comfortable with.
- TO HELP FAMILY CARERS PLAN FOR THEIR LOVED ONES' CARE
Most times, decisions around elderly care not only affects the person who needs care, but also their families. If a family member decides to take on some caring responsibilities, they may have to go part-time or leave their employment altogether, which will in turn affect their finances and their ability to pay for their loved one's care.
Research shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of family carers have to use their own income or savings to cover the cost of care for a loved one3. By discussing potential solutions at an earlier stage, families can better plan for the future and prepare to support their loved ones in the best way possible.
- TO HELP THEM ACCEPT THE EVENTUALITY OF LATER-LIFE CARE
Some people may be in denial that they need care. Thus, by talking about care earlier, one can give them more time to make these difficult decisions and also ensure that everyone is aware of the future choices to be made.
HOW VITALITY CAN HELP YOUR CLIENTS PREPARE FOR LATER LIFE
As the only Serious Illness Cover provider to support clients' independence in later life, VitalityLife's Later Life Options help provide the answers to the real questions clients are asking.
With our unique Later Life Options, you can help support your clients in later life against the potential financial impact of dementia and frailty. We offer two levels of cover to cater for your client's needs - Dementia and FrailCare Cover and Dementia and FrailCare Cover Plus.
1 Office for National Statistics, "Past and projected data from the period and cohort life tables, 2016-based, UK", 2016.
2 The Kings Fund, ‘Key challenges facing the adult social care sector in England', September 2018.
3 Carers UK, State of Caring Survey, 2019.
Nov 2019 | This article's view is based on the law, practices and conditions as at the day of publication. While we have made every effort to ensure they are accurate, we accept no responsibility for our interpretation or any future changes.