Everyone should be interested in the Care Act 2014 because by now, we may all know someone who tells us how hard it is when a care package is needed or to be a main carer. Many of us will need skilled care in the future.

The Government reports the most significant care reform changes in 60 years 1. will take place in April 2015. What does this mean for the average person?

There is new minimum eligibility criteria nationwide identifying when the local authorities must provide support to the public. It is hoped this will simplify the postcode lottery approaches currently being taken by different councils. Personal budgets are now giving people the option to shop around for a care package that suits their support plan needs.

The focus must now shift to preparing for implementation of the Care Act from April 2015. The Guidance outlines a number of things that Local Authorities Must Do and Should Do in light of the introduction of the Care Act in April 2015.  2. The guidance of 500 pages seeks to improve transparency, taking a more person centered approach, increasing wellbeing of individuals and improving overall the quality of care nationwide. We can expect a range of materials to be published to support the implementation further.

From April 2016, a new system will be introduced to cap the amount you have to spend on a care package at £72,000, regardless of how much you have in savings or assets. After you pay the first £72,000, the new system requires the local authority to step in to pay those continuing costs.

We are being promised “for the first time the system will be built around each person – what they need, how they can best be cared for, and what they want”. 3.

The Government predicts between 2024 to 2025 up to 100,000 more people will benefit financially as a result of these reforms. 3. The Government’s own statistics reveal that 670,000 people are living at present with dementia. There are 3 million people in the UK who are over 80 years old. The latest projections are for 5½ million more elderly people over 65 predicted in 20 years time (making 15.5 million in total) and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050. When people examine the statistics more closely, a financial improvement for 100,000 people is not proportionate to the growing number of elderly people. 4.

The statistics reveal a picture of increasingly stretched resources. The more you keep up to date with the Care Act 2014 and its guidelines, the more likely you will be successful in injecting your views in requiring the improved care system created by the Care Act 2014.

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1. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/care-bill-becomes-care-act-2014

2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-2014-statutory-guidance-for-implementation

3. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/care-bill-becomes-care-act-2014

4. https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F318730%2Fcm8884-valuing-every-voice.pdf&ei=Sc2SVKK3JI_eaOHTgcgG&usg=AFQjCNHxGtlZRiluMaD0CFBtfileBBAgvg