Heavey E, Baxter K, Birks Y
Journal of Long-term Care 2019, February, 51—65
Available online 21 Feb 2019
Ageing populations across the world make the provision of long-term care a global challenge. A growing number of people in England are faced with paying for later life social care costs, but do little to plan for these costs in advance. Recent legislation in the form of the Care Act 2014 gave local authorities new responsibilities to provide information on how people can access independent financial advice on matters relating to care needs.
This scoping review aimed to identify existing evidence about people’s engagement with financial advice in relation to paying for later life care in England.
Electronic and manual searching identified seventeen papers reporting empirical evidence on the topic, published between 2002 and 2017.
We found evidence of low numbers accessing regulated financial advice. Barriers included limited consumer awareness, preferences for other sources of advice such as friends and family, and poor signposting and referrals by local authorities. Most papers indicated that financial advice would be useful in helping people to plan for care costs. Robust research evidence on this topic is limited, with particular gaps in evidence about stakeholders’ experiences of the barriers to, and usefulness of, financial advice about paying for long-term care in later life.
The paper does not include a formal quality assessment of the included research papers. Our interpretation of study findings was hindered by lack of methodological transparency in some papers and lack of studies focusing specifically on the topic of financial planning for long-term care.
An improved evidence base could assist financial advisers specialising in this area and local authorities that are now obliged to signpost people to such advice. With better evidence they would be better placed to explain to members of the public the financial and non-financial implications of obtaining financial advice about care costs. It might also enable those organisations to overcome barriers and facilitate access to appropriate advice.