So, good news here for the consumer!! If you have the time and energy to shop around the complex care home maze you may be able to negotiate a bargain with many of the care homes who are experiencing lower occupancy levels.
However, this is only a temporary state of affairs for the care homes. Laing & Buisson predict that the number of occupied places will increase to 424,000 by 2014 and 459,000 by 2019.
In-fact, the number of “self funders” has risen from 31% in 2002 to 41% in 2009 which is good news for the care homes, and this figure is expected to keep on rising as the rate of home owner occupation among older people likely to enter care homes continues to grow.
So in spite of the current lower occupancy, the profitability of care homes remains fairly unchanged. In fact Laing & Buisson commented that reverberations of the global credit crisis continue to impact on the care home sector, but has not yet had an impact at an operational level.
Laing & Buisson referred to this period as “the calm before the storm” for the care home sector, with the planned downturn in public spending from 2011-12 onwards presenting a “real risk” of sub-inflationary increases in fees from councils. It said that this would hit care homes with a large proportion of state funding, though those which received a large degree of private funding (from “self funders”) would fair better.
By Mark Sadler
Managing Director of www.yourcarehome.co.uk
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http://www.yourcarehome.co.uk is an independent, online search facility which aims to provide the most comprehensive, accessible, up to the minute information on registered residential care homes and nursing care homes for the elderly in the UK.
A one stop shop, it enables consumers to:
- search by locality and price - using up to 30 criteria to tailor your needs
- see photography of all care homes and get a ‘sense of place’
- get connected directly and quickly to your selected care homes
- get online help and support from the experts on key issues and hurdles
- compare care homes according to your criteria
- find out about the latest news, research in the industry
- interact and share your experiences with others
Currently representing 30% of all care homes available in the UK, the new website plans to grow its listings and will connect people with up to 50% of the total UK market within a year.