Social care in the UK is not yet universally free – in fact, it can often range up to £30 an hour. With means-tested support and local authorities’ appetite to offer some support, it can be confusing how you should go about paying for care.
If you need to apply for help to get the best care advice in Greater Manchester, visit the Holm Care website in Manchester, as they will be very happy to help you.
This article will look at the two key ways one can fund live in elderly care.
Step 1: Applying for help
The first step to take is to see whether you’re entitled to state support. A Care Needs Assessment will be filled in to see what kind of support is needed for the person in question – and what financial situation they’re in. A means-tested evaluation will take place to see if the local council will contribute to the bill.
Step 2: Assets and assessment
If the elderly person in question has between £14,250 and £23,250 in assets, then the local council will help fund live-in elderly care, but not all of it. Having less than £14,250 in assets will mean the local council pays for the total cost of care. However, eligible income is still taken into account.
Step 3: NHS Continuing Healthcare Package
Many people do not realise that the NHS has a Continuing Healthcare Package, which can provide state-support financial help. This package will cover the cost of home care if your needs, which will be assessed, meet the “primary health need”. Likewise, receiving NHS continuing healthcare in a care home can also be covered by this package.
Step 4: Choosing your care
It’s important to keep in mind that if the NHS or council verifies support for your care, accepting their care services isn’t mandatory. You can arrange your own carers and use the Personal Care Budget to direct the payments towards it.
Alternatively, the local authority can manage the money, or allow a third-party to.
Step 5: Family support
If a family member decides to take on some of the caring responsibility, they may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. This could be a way to lessen the need for more expensive privately funded care, and also compensate the family member for the opportunity cost of forgoing work. It’s vitally important not to transfer assets such as the home to family members in an attempt to gain state-support.
Not everyone is eligible for state support, either because their care needs do not meet the minimum threshold or because they have significant assets or income.
Selling a home and equity releases
Selling a home is a common way to help pay for home care for the elderly. A home is often the largest asset one owns, whilst downsizing can be a secondary reason for choosing this option as it’s likely if the person needs care, they may be struggling to live in a large home.
If the person in question has a house but does not wish to downsize, then an equity release on the property may be another viable way of raising funds. Equity releases are essentially relinquishing some ownership of the home – kind of like taking out, or extending, a mortgage.
Equity releases are a popular choice for retirees who wish to spend some of their wealth, instead of leaving it all to their beneficiaries. There are some downsides, however, meaning specialist advice is advised.
Alternatives to raising funds
Finally, there are other creative ways to raise funds, such as cashing in a pension early, selling valuable assets, or taking loans from a family member which will then be repaid in the will. However, it’s important to take a long-term approach to care payments and carefully assess the annual cost, as it can be surprisingly expensive.
If you need more advice or help on finding the right private care for your loved one, you can read this home care guide by Holm Care in Manchester. They’re experts in homecare and live-in care for the elderly.