Years of dithering over social care reforms by the UK government made it harder to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, according to the majority of over-45s polled during lockdown by Just Group.
The findings show that 56% of the over-45s believe that delays to funding reforms hampered the coronavirus response, with just 22% saying it made no difference.
And despite the harrowing coverage of the impact of the virus on care homes, only 52% believe that agreeing a social care policy will become a priority for this government.
Moreover, the findings show that 48% of the over-45s are now more likely to ensure care needs are met in their own homes, rather than a residential setting, rising to 64% among the over-75s.
Just Group group communications director Stephen Lowe said that later life care has for years been “the elephant in the room” that people ignore, adding: “Politicians are reinforcing this by promising reforms but never delivering.
“The big question going forward is whether coronavirus will be a catalyst for change or an excuse to kick the can down the road yet again.”
The survey – carried out soon after the 2019 general election, and again during the coronavirus lockdown – also found strong political party allegiances regarding the handling of social care reform.
Conservative voters made up 90% of those confident that Boris Johnson will produce a social care policy in this parliament, while 83% of those who were not confident voted for other parties.
However, regardless of which way they voted, the respondents held quite similar ideas about the fairness of funding solutions.
For example, there were similar levels of agreement across voting habits that the State should not pay if people can use savings or sell a home to pay for care.
But of those with experience organising care for loved ones, 78% found the system complex and hard to navigate, 77% found the process stressful, and 88% were shocked at how expensive care is.
“In the wake of coronavirus, we desperately need our policymakers to reinvigorate the debate and to lead the way towards a system that helps people look ahead with confidence rather than trepidation,” Lowe added.
Author: Chris Seekings
Image credit: iStock