The Government is considering a scheme where people who help the elderly or disabled can earn time credits for their own care later in life.
This type of system already successfully operates in Japan.
It enables volunteer carers to “bank” the hours they spend helping others. These credits are held in a personal time account and then made available to use themselves later in life.
Alternatively the credits can be applied for someone else of their choice.
The system in Japan is called Hureai Kippu, which translates as “Caring Relationship Tickets”. It was established in 1991 and has been expanding as the population of Japan continues to age.
Under the Japanese system, different types of task earn different credits. More credit is given for helping others at anti-social hours or with personal body care.
Tasks such as household chores and shopping earn fewer credits.
Here in the UK, we might not face demographic challenges on the same scale as Japan, but the issue of care fees planning does need to be urgently addressed on a national level.
As things stand, individuals are responsible for funding the cost of their own care, until their assets fall below a threshold where the Local Authority then picks up the tab.
Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon.