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As a population we are living longer, and with an ageing population the need for care is growing, with the time spent in care increasing. However, a fifth of the UK have no idea who will look after them if they have care needs in old age, according to research released from Bupa. Nearly three quarters think they will have care needs in older age, but only around half expect their family to care for them.

The survey reveals that old age is a regular consideration. Professor Graham Stokes, Global Director of Dementia Care, Bupa says: ‘The perception that older people aren’t valued by society is concerning and needs to be addressed. The proportion of people over 80 is expected to increase almost fourfold over the next 50 years.

Despite concerns about getting older, people are optimistic that they can still live a fulfilling life, with the majority of people believing old age will not stop them living life to the fullest. As we age, our preferences and personalities remain individual, which is why, if care is required, it should be provided in a way that meets our needs and wishes.

Long-term care insurance provides the financial support you need if you have to pay for care assistance for yourself or a loved one. It can cover the cost of assistance for those who need help to perform the basic activities of daily life at home or in residential or nursing homes.

Government state benefits can provide some help but may not be enough or may not pay for the full cost of long-term care. The level of state support you receive can be different depending on where you live in the UK.

There are many options for funding long-term care, and they can often be complicated to understand. So if you or a loved one needs to pay for care at home or in a care home, it’s important to know the options available.

Enhanced annuities – you can use your pension to buy an enhanced annuity (also known as an ‘impaired life annuity’) if you have a health problem, a long-term illness, if you are overweight or if you smoke. Annuity providers use full medical underwriting to get a more accurate individual price. People with medical conditions including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, or those who have had a major organ transplant are likely to be eligible for an enhanced annuity. Some people may find they have to make quick and difficult decisions about their own or a loved one’s care needs.

Thinking about the options in advance will help in the long run. If you would like to discuss your particular situation, please speak to Jon Neild who holds the Long term care and equity release qualification from the Chartered Insurance Institute on 0161 495 4700.

Source data: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,139 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken from 26–29 February 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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