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Older people who fund their own social care

Project summary | May 2010

This study seeks to provide a fuller picture than previously available of older people who fund their own social care in Oxfordshire and how they can be supported by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), in the context of demographic, policy and economic changes that have driven up the numbers of self-funders in the county, and are projected to continue to do so.

It gathers information in three areas: the identifiable population purchasing care from regulated sources; the wider population of older people in the county, their care needs and how these are currently being met; and the impact of the economic recession on self-funding.

The study begins with an overview of self-funding in Oxfordshire, examining patterns of existing and projected service use, followed by an assessment of the county`s ageing population and overall affluence, including buoyant housing market and high levels of home ownership. It then examines self-funding of residential care and home/community care in turn, looking at:

  • Level of available provision;
  • Number and proportion of self-funders in each case;
  • Knowledge and use of social care services (SCS) and awareness of entitlement to assessment among self-funders; and
  • People`s reasons for self-funding.

A persistent theme is the minimal engagement of self-funders with SCS and their presumption that they would not be entitled to help.

Finally, the study assesses the impact of recession on the number of self-funders falling below the maximum threshold for state assistance, and how long it takes them to do so after admission to residential care.

A concluding section presents the key findings, and recommendations arising, particularly in terms of improving awareness of available advice and support.

For further information please contact Liz Cairncross at IPC


Tel: 01865 790312