Interactive Investor

3% more people in care homes than last year

6th July 2023 12:09

by Alice Guy from interactive investor

Share on

Statistics show 37% are self-funded and 49% are self-funding in care homes for the over-65s.

Walking stick 600

Office for National Statistics' (ONS) data out this morning reveals that there were 372,035 care home residents in the year up to February 2023, a 3% increase compared with last year.

Key stats:

  • There were 372,035 care home residents in the year up to February 2023, a 3% increase compared with last year when the number was 360,792.
  • 37% of those in care homes last year were self-funders (137,480)
  • The care homes that were rated outstanding had 51% of self-funders, suggesting that those with money are more able to pick a care home and could end up with a better level of care.
  • The South East remained the region with the highest proportion of self-funders in care homes (47.5%)
  • Care homes providing care for older people (aged 65 years and over) had a statistically significantly higher proportion of self-funders (48.9%)
  • Care homes now cost an average of £61,152 per year according to ONS data released earlier this year

Alice Guy, Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor, comments: “It's concerning that so many more older people are in care homes than last year. 

“Paying for possible care home fees is a huge worry for many pensioners. Care home fees now cost an average of £1,176 per week or £61,152 per year, almost twice as much as the average salary before tax and up 10% from last year. These figures will strike fear into the heart of many households and are simply unaffordable for many families.

“Saving up enough to fund care home fees for a long period is out of reach for most people, who may end up having to sell their home to pay for care.

“And the burden of paying for care home fees falls disproportionately on those with dementia, rather than being shared more widely with society.

“The cost of care is a huge challenge for policymakers. With an ageing population, there will be less money to go round in the future putting more pressure on the healthcare system.

“Saving enough to pay for care home fees in old age is a massive undertaking and, with eye-watering sums needed, it’s simply out of reach for most people. With ever rising costs, our money has to stretch further to cover both our daily needs, and longer-term saving for a comfortable retirement.

“The good news is that from October 2025 there will be £86,000 cap on what you end up paying for care costs. But the sting in the tail is that this cap only applies to costs to do with your personal care, such as washing and dressing, rather than accommodation costs. This means you could still end up running out of money if you need to stay in a care home for any length of time.”

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

Get more news and expert articles direct to your inbox