London is set for a 25% increase in the number of residents aged 65 and over by 2026 more than in any other region in England, research by Just Group has found.
This is likely to put increasing pressure on local health and care services, with the number of over-65s in the capital set to rise from just over one million to 1.27 million.
Just said the problem is compounded by high property prices, leaving care home development in London at just 70% of the UK average in relation to the number of older people.
"London is in the eye of the storm when it comes to care funding because of the rise in pensioners and high cost of care," Just group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said
"London has the highest cost of residential care in the UK at £741 a week or £38,532 a year for a single room on average, and popular care homes can charge much more."
The population projections are based on analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics, revealing that London will be home to one-tenth of the UK's over-65s by 2026.
Lowe said the government's upcoming policy green paper on social care needs to be clear about how personal wealth, particularly property wealth, is treated in new funding rules.
The research shows that London's over-65s have around £250bn tied up in their homes, and that the average house price is enough to pay for nearly 13 years of care.
This comes after it was found that the number of adults aged 45 and over expecting the government to pay for social care has fallen from more than half to less than a third.
Lowe said the government could incentivise homeowners to pledge part of the value tied up in their property for care if they need it by potentially offering tax breaks.
This would help people plan care costs without impacting disposable incomes, and should the costs escalate, the State would offer support, and return money if care were not needed.
"We would urge Londoners to actively engage in the debate because, with its ageing population and high home values, the capital has a lot to lose or gain from the changes," Lowe added.
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