Care home fees are expected to rise this year by an eye watering 8% to 10%.
Two factors seem to be fuelling the sharp rise. New rules being brought in will require companies to pay into a pension scheme for all employees and, in April, the new national living wage of £7.20 an hour will come into force for employees aged 25 and over. Both will significantly increase the running costs of care homes which will have to be recoup these costs in rising fees.
Although costs do vary significantly from one part of the country to another, Symponia, the care home advice experts quote £676 as the average cost of a week in a care home including nursing. This puts the current annual cost at £35,121. A rise of 10% however would raise the yearly cost to £38,667, making it more expensive even than sending your child to exclusive boarding school, Eton College which charges £35,721 and counts Prime Minister, David Cameron, actor Eddie Redmayne and explorer Bear Grylls among its former pupils.
The fact that people are living longer puts families under increasing pressure as it is impossible to predict how long care home facilities are likely to be needed for. The number of people living to 100 or over has ballooned by more than 70% over the last decade, making it more and more difficult to plan financially and make provision for possible care fees.
Janet Davies, Managing Director of Symponia warns, "Implementing the national living wage will have a dramatic effect on many businesses, not just care homes."
So watch out.