Facing the cost of long-term care: Towards a sustainable funding system

Donald Hirsch

A review of the issues around paying for long-term care for older people, asking how the current system could be improved.

Over the past decade it has become ever clearer that the UK lacks an adequate, coherent and fair basis for paying for long-term care for older people. As a result, services are already under strain, not all needs are being met, and we are ill-prepared to meet future challenges as the population continues to age.

This study brings together evidence and discussions assembled by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It identifies some key challenges that need addressing in order to start moving towards a fairer, more rational and adequate system of funding It deliberately avoids proposing a radical redesign of the whole system, though there is a case for that. Rather it provides a platform for sensible discussion of how to design improvements in the funding system.

In setting out the challenges, the paper gives illustrations of policy options, for discussion and further development.

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