Skip to Content
Vitality Logo

We can no longer ignore later life care needs

Published: 06/03/2024

With an inexorable rise in conditions requiring later-life care and the public sector already under pressure, it’s time for the protection sector to step up and do more to support clients prepare for the future, writes VitalityLife Managing Director Justin Taurog.

Anyone with a relative suffering from a later-life illness – such as dementia, Parkinson’s or frailty – knows only too well the current situation of adult social care in the UK.

Often stretched resources are competing against ever-growing demands, leading to many older people having prolonged stays in hospital, causing issues for their family and public healthcare services.

Meanwhile, the high cost of care – typically around £100,000 for a condition like dementia1  and in many cases much more – places a significant financial burden on individuals and their loved ones.

“There is a real opportunity for advisers to add value to conversations by helping clients plan for later-life needs using protection as a solution.”

- Justin Taurog, VitalityLife Managing Director

Rising later life care demands

The medical advances we’ve made in recent decades mean that more of us are living longer, but due to a combination of factors, often in poorer health and with chronic care needs.

Looking ahead, these current pressures only look set to further intensify.

The number of people living with dementia for example is expected to double to 1.6 million by 20402. As a result, it’s predicted to cost the UK a staggering £94.1 billion by the same date3.

It’s not just an issue with dementia either. As a result of our ageing population and deteriorating rates of overall population health and wellbeing, the number of people living with a major illness is set to rise to 9.1 million by 20404. This will have major implications for the funding and provision of care over the years ahead.

Funding care

Where does this all leave us? Most people know they’ll need some form of later life care, but almost 50% of people believe costs will be too expensive to afford5 and the reality is many do not make adequate financial provisions to cover the potential costs.

Despite the introduction of a cap on the amount people have to stump up to cover part of their care costs (excluding residential care home fees)6, most people are forced to rely on savings or sell their home to fund any care. Potentially depriving their loved ones of a nest egg.

As far as wider public policy is concerned, despite some of these recent reforms, it’s an issue that’s still largely been kicked into the long grass. Indeed, even the care cost cap has been delayed until October 20257.

Rising to the challenge

When it comes to the private sector – and the protection industry in particular – the weight of evidence highlights that we have a duty to step up.

On the one hand, advisers must ensure they’re having the right conversations with their clients about later life care funding, especially in light of Consumer Duty.

There’s an appetite from consumers as well, with over 50% of people saying they’d be interested in insurance to cover care costs8.

We therefore need to develop the right production solutions and it’s no longer good enough for protection plans to simply finish at retirement age without any later life cover.

It’s the reason why at Vitality we offer our unique LifestyleCare Cover and Dementia and FrailCare Cover.

Launched in 2018, Dementia and FrailCare Cover is a market-first in allowing clients to continue their Serious Illness Cover beyond the normal term of the plan. With no upfront cost or underwriting, it can help towards the cost of care in later life, particularly for conditions such as dementia, at time when the need for this only going to increase.

Meanwhile, LifestyleCare Cover offers clients Whole of Life Cover with a separate accelerated benefit if the client develops some form of long-term care need.

Real opportunity for advisers

To date, Vitality has insured over 70,000 members with Dementia and FrailCare Cover9 and although there’s more work for the industry to do, unique cover like this and LifestyleCare Cover give advisers the option to provide more comprehensive, longer-term financial protection for their clients.

It’s clear that from all quarters that there’s a real concern around the funding of later-life care, but the public shouldn’t be forced to rely solely on their savings or look to sell their assets to support themselves.

There is a real opportunity for advisers to add value to conversations by helping clients plan for later-life needs using protection as a solution. This can limit the financial sacrifices individuals and their families may have to make, while protecting the assets they have worked so hard for. This way advisers can ensure clients are covered now and in the future.

Find out more about how Vitality's Serious Illness Cover can provide your clients with market-leading cover for both their current and future protection needs.

Where to next?

  • Three real-life claims you might not expect to be paid

    VitalityLife Managing Director, Justin Taurog, talks us through three real-life claim case studies to remind us of the power of comprehensive severity-based cover.

  • Now is the time for quality over price

    The protection market needs to move with times, which means embracing quality over price once and for all, writes Vitality’s Chief Operations and Growth Officer Greg Levine.

  • Insights Hub

    Our Insights Hub brings your our range of adviser content - from video series to articles & blogs.

1. How much does dementia care cost? | Alzheimer's Society (
2. Prevalence and incidence - Dementia Statistics Hub
3. What are the costs of dementia care in the UK? | Alzheimer's Society (
4. Health in 2040: projected patterns of illness in England - The Health Foundation
5. Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Vitality, among 2,000 UK adults in January 2024 
 Care home fees cap 2025 | Government cap in England | Care UK
7. Social care cap delayed until 2025 - FTAdviser
8. Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Vitality, among 2,000 UK adults in January 2024 
 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report, 2023