Warning of shortage of workers as cost of care rises sharply in region

Nurse and senior lady in a care home

People are shunning jobs in social care to work in supermarkets, leaving a shortfall in the army of workers needed to look after us in old age, it has been warned.

Dennis Bacon, chairman of care providers body Norfolk Independent Care, said the lack of respect for social care work has put people off joining the profession, leaving the industry with a middle-aged workforce which will not go on forever.

It is one of the factors pushing up annual care costs, which rose £2,912, or 9.4pc, in the East, leaving the region with the most expensive care homes for the first time. The average cost for a residential space is now £33,800 per year.

Prestige Nursing + Care, which provided the figures, warned that the hike in costs means that those who need care in later life could have to sell their homes in order to raise the funds. Mr Bacon warned that it was a “pretty bad situation”, and also warned that the government pledge to raise the minimum wage could see care providers go bust.

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