People who fund their own social care: a scoping review
This was a short, relatively limited scoping review that aimed rapidly to map recent published evidence about people who fund their own social care, complemented by a focussed search of the websites of key organisations and, if time permitted, a small number of semi-structured interviews with key informants.
Very little is known about the many adults in England who purchase social care services and support using their own private resources. Patterns of self-funding vary geographically. While it is estimated that over 40 percent of adult and older residents of independent care homes fund the entire cost of their care, we have less knowledge of the number funding their own domiciliary care. The number of self-funders is likely to increase as an aging population is coupled with increases in local authority eligibility thresholds, these render more people ineligible for publicly-funded support. Self-funding adults and older people are also due to become more important to local authorities as the modified proposals of the Dilnot review of care funding are implemented.
This scoping review sought evidence to address the following questions:
- What is the size of the self-funding population in England and what are its characteristics – for example age, region, type and location of care?
- What information, advice and other forms of help are needed, sought by and available to those currently funding their own social care support, or expecting to have to do so in the future?
- What experiences do care providers have of people funding their own social care support; what challenges do these purchasers present to providers; and how might these challenges be resolved?
- What are the gaps in available evidence that could be filled by further research?
Policy and practice aims
The scoping review is published by the School for Social Care Research and is available online. It summarises the evidence base on self-funders of social care and highlight gaps in knowledge. This information will be increasingly important to local authorities as proposals in response to the Dilnot review are implemented.
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January 2014 - April 2014