Consultation launched on how best we can pay for care in the future
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, has launched a consultation that will explore how care will be best paid for across Wales in the future.
The consultation and engagement process, "Paying for Care in Wales: creating a fair and sustainable system", will take place between November 2008 and March 2009, and will focus on how the current system of paying for care will need to change in order to meet future needs in addition to examining the balance of responsibility that lies between the state, the individual and their families.
It is predicted that a large funding gap will develop between the cost of care services and the money that is available to pay for them in future years as the general population grows older and the percentage of working age people decreases.
By 2018 the number of those aged 85 and over is projected to increase by 29% from the current 72,000 to 93,000 and those aged 65 to 84 are projected to increase by 24% from 469,000 to 582,000.
Said Gwenda Thomas: “Almost every family in Wales faces the reality that people they love may need care and support because of age or disability.
“Because of major changes – both demographic and societal – we have to think very carefully about how the care system will need to change in order to ensure that future needs and demands are appropriately met.
“What’s important to remember is that the care system isn’t something that only involves older people in society – nearly all of us will one day come into contact with the care system in one form or another.
"It is therefore essential that as many people as possible – of all ages and backgrounds – join in the debate and have their say.”
The findings of the consultation will be used to help shape the Assembly Government’s, and the UK government’s, plans to change the system for paying for care. These plans will be set out in Green papers for Wales and for England in 2009.