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Care tactics

‘Cosy working party chats just delays decisions on taking care planning action’

Symponia is calling for the total removal of the phrase long-term care. It is old hat and only conjures up thoughts of insurance plans. Assisting a family with the funding of their private care fees is much more involved than just focusing on products and referring to the subject as such is not doing the subject matter or indeed the people in care any justice.

Sorting out the care fees for a relative can be extremely stressful and complex. Families do not think: “We must buy a product” and often they cannot see past the first couple of months. People want hand-holding and guiding in the right direction long before products are mentioned and, to be honest, there few times when my advice to a family is to do nothing.

As for establishing a working party, we believe (very strongly) that this will achieve nothing new. Cosy chats and talking through ideals just delays decisions and/or action.

Symponia already has a selective Immediate Needs Forum, a potential Care Faculty (to replace IFACare) and talk of a further accreditation.

The whole industry is too working party-oriented. Such discussion groups will not help the families of people in care now. What they need is assistance with their current situation and they need it right now.

Instead of forming just another working party, Sesame (and its advisers) together with other like-minded advisers should consider joining Symponia, the only true national affinity group for care fees planning.

Of the suggested proactive group, I agree that there should be cohesion between product providers, advisers and all providers of care (not just care homes) but there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Symponia already has sound relationships with all the mentioned sectors. Providers are supporting our meetings, helping with product design and enjoying the move into the care fees planning arena. This includes newer companies keen to enter the area such as MSQ, Just Retirement and Retirement Plus.

Care homes groups are already listening and accepting the need for care fees planning.

Groups are selecting to work with Symponia because they have been impressed with the actual calibre of its members (all must have CF8 and a CRB check), the genuine care and compassion, together with Symponia’s real desire to make a difference to the finances of people in care homes.

Any adviser working or wanting to work within the field of care fees planning should consider joining Symponia. Don’t just talk about it – do it.

Symponia’s member advisers all represent differing IFA firms and we believe this makes us a richer organisation. Advisers are able to feel part of a bigger organisation while maintaining their own identity. Care home groups have the reassurance of a stable national presence and providers have access to some of the most qualified and proactive care fees planning advisers in the country.

Janet Davies is joint founder and managing director of Symponia

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