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Warning on care information 'maze'
The social care system is so confusing that it is driving some families to "breaking point", a consumer watchdog has warned.
Which? said people trying to organise care for a loved one face a "maze" of confusing advice and information.
And people who are not eligible for state funding are finding it difficult to even obtain simple information.
The organisation made the comments after asking 30 people across the UK to keep a diary as they tried to organise care for their partners, parents or themselves.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Organising care is a complex process but we found it's often made worse by a lack of relevant information, confusing jargon and some services leaving people to work it out for themselves, resulting in unnecessary distress for family carers."
The organisation has launched a new website, Which? Elderly Care, which has been designed to give people free advice.
Care and support minister Norman Lamb said: "We recognise that the current system is outdated and confusing for people to navigate.
"It's vital that the information and advice that people receive about their care and support helps them to understand and find their way through the system easily.
"That's why we are introducing new measures in the Care Bill to ensure that local authorities provide clear information and advice for both adults and carers. This includes helping people understand how the care and support system works and how to access services when they need them.
"Our reforms will also protect people against unlimited care costs through a cap which will give everyone more peace of mind and end the uncertainty and anxiety of the current system."