Fees for residential and nursing homes have risen at their fastest rate to reach an average of ￡33,000 a year, according to a survey.
The annual cost of a place at a care home rose by 9.6 per cent last year, almost twice the rate of the increase the previous year, it found.
Increased longevity is forcing up demand while higher staff costs have restricted supply, with a number of smaller independent care homes closing as some councils cut what they pay.
Based on a comparison of fees at 124 residential homes, the survey by Prestige Nursing and Care, a care provider, found that average fees across Britain had reached ￡33,094 a year, ￡2,978 higher than a year earlier.
The average length of stay in a residential care home is two and a half years, according to previous research by Saga.
Costs were highest in the east of England, where average fees were ￡40,820 a year, making them for the first time more expensive than in London. In the capital, the average figure was ￡39,988 and in southeast England ￡39,364.
Jonathan Bruce, managing director of Prestige Nursing and Care, said: “This reinforces the fact that we are facing a serious and prolonged social care crisis. Spiralling costs mean people must talk about how they will fund care for themselves or their loved ones.
“The magnitude of the challenges facing the sector means there is a desperate need for a political solution to the crisis. While fixing social care will not be easy, it can be turned around if policymaker set out a concrete plan that takes into account the need of patients, providers and councils.”
In 2012, when the first such survey was conducted, the cost of the average care home was ￡27,404 a year.
Average income for pensions has failed to keep pace, rising from ￡13,208 six years ago to ￡14,522 per annum.
The only region in which care home costs be
became slightly more affordable was Yorkshire and the Humber, where although average fees rose year-on-year by 1.3 per cent to ￡28,964, this was offset.
In the face of such rising costs, it is not surprising that many are seeking other care option for their relatives.
One alternative widely finding favour is care at home. Admittedly it is not available for everyone, this has to be recognised, but where finances permit, care can be provided within the person’s own home.
This can be through a live-in carer, or full or part-time visiting carer.
The advantages are enormous. The person does not have to move from their own home, stays close to friends and in the neighbourhood they have come to know and love.
How difficult is this is arrange?
It can be simplicity itself. Here at The Graham Agency, we have been providing a range of domestic and household staff for over 30 years, Come and talk options with us.