Help through the minefield of old age care

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We don’t like to think about it, but as we get older we will all need a little bit of help. Some of us may even need to move into a care home.

This could be one of the most expensive decisions you make in your life.

Based on current estimates, West Sussex residents can expect to pay an average of £30,000 or more per year for a residential care home.

West Sussex County Council’s Carewise initiative, which is now a year old, is one way of helping people through the financial minefield.

The County Council has now made it even easier for people to seek professional and independent advice through the scheme, which is an important part of the Adults’ Services information and advice service.

Carewise is a not-for-profit partnership between West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Forum, Age UK West Sussex and the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). They all want to ensure that care home residents are able to sustain the cost of their chosen care home.

Carewise provides information and advice about available care and support options, and promotes the benefits of seeking early specialist financial advice on cost effective ways of paying for long-term care. From now on callers to the County Council will be offered the choice of a direct referral to one of the panel of Carewise approved independent Care Fees Specialists.

Peter Catchpole, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adults’ Services, said: “Paying for care is one of the biggest items of expenditure that anyone will face, alongside buying a house and we all know that costs are continuing to rise.

“Providing good information and advice and encouraging people to seek this before they fall into problems is a vital role of the County Council, which is why Carewise is such an important scheme.

“It is also a part of the County Council’s Age with Confidence initiative, where we want to make sure that people are confident in preparing for and living well into old age.”

For details, go to the Carewise website at or call 01243 642555.