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A fundamental reorganization of the basis of financial support for elderly people in independent sector homes is currently in progress. Much of the debate so far has focused on the reasons behind the policy changes, and possible implications for further developments in provision of care and services. Less attention has been paid to practical details of mechanisms for transferring money to effect payment to independent proprietors. These have not yet been finalized. It is important that arrangements eventually decided serve the best interests of the elderly people concerned. Such arrangements may not always be the simplest and cheapest to administer, either for those authorities paying the bills, or for proprietors balancing the books and managing homes. There is an opportunity now. while mechanisms of payment are still being worked out, to consider the options and raise the level of discussion on this topic, so that the welfare of elderly people is high on the agenda while policy decisions are being made. This article describes how elderly people currently pay their bills for care and accommodation in independent long-stay homes. Changes in the basis of government financial support for long-term care, due to be fully implemented in April 1993, will require different mechanisms for transfer of monies. The options are considered in the light of what we already know about the significance of financial exchanges within care homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-706
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1992

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