Marked drop in number of North Lincs pensioners going into care homes, according to research
More pensioners in North Lincolnshire are choosing not to go into care homes until their late 80s, if at all, it has been revealed.
Research has show a marked drop since 2009 in the numbers of old people opting to spend the rest of their lives in a care home.
During the first nine months of the 2012-13 financial year, 169 men and women over 65 entered care homes.
That is compared with 202 people in 2011/12, 221 in 2010-11 and 263 in 2009-10.
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North Lincolnshire Council chiefs, who are committed this year to spending £36.25 million on adult social care, have attributed the drop in numbers to the provision of self-directed support for pensioners.
A spokeswoman said: “Since 2009 the policy for adult social care is to offer all people who are eligible for long-term support the option of having a cash budget as an alternative to arrange their own care and support”.
“The personal budget enables people to have much greater choice and control over their lives”.
“The uptake of personal budgets has been growing locally and in 2013 a further rise is expected”.
Self-directed support is offered to anyone living in the community who gets help paid for by the council’s social sservices department.
Applicants are requested to complete a personal budget questionnaire and, if they are eligible for support, they are able top develop a support plan.
The spokeswoman added: “The council is encouraging clients to think creatively about the services they use and we can help them to look at the different options available to them”.
“The costs are unique for each individual based on their needs and the home they enter, consequently the overall budget is demand-led”.
“More and more people are taking up the new policy of arranging their own care. Therefore many people aren’t entering care homes until their late 80s if at all”.
Last week the government revealed plans to increase the limit for care benefit to £123,000 - five times the current threshold.
The move is aimed at ending the heartache of elderly people having to sell their homes to pay fees in care homes.