Financing the support we may need in later life is complicated. Understanding the likely costs and how the system works can have a huge bearing on your decision when deciding what is right for you or your loved one. By Dan Parton.
Residential and nursing home costs
Residential home costs on average £26,500 per year and nursing homes a further £9,000. These charges are probably much higher than most incomes in older age and it is therefore paramount to seek advice and plan thoroughly for long-term care.
The role of local authorities and the NHS
Local authorities and the NHS control government budgets for social care. Local councils use a means-testing approach to applications for care. This is based on the government’s means test threshold for care homes, which says that those with assets over £23,250 must pay in full and those with less than £14,250 are fully assisted by the council. Those in between will be assessed on a sliding scale to determine how much they should contribute. Assets can include your property and savings and the move into long-term care may mean your house is sold as a result.
Benefits and grants
If you need to finance care, it’s important to know all the benefits and grants you may be entitled to. Many benefits and grants are dependent on an assessment of your financial and other circumstances – and you need to apply to find out if you qualify.
In this section you will find information on:
Support at home
How to pay for your residential or nursing home fees
Whether entitled to local authority support or not, it is also worth consulting an independent financial advisor (IFA) specialising in long-term care. An IFA will be able to assist you in planning your long-term care. An IFA local to you can be found by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk and setting your search criteria.
More information can also be found at www.firststopadvice.org.uk.