Support from a care home can drastically improve a person’s quality of life in a variety of ways. The aim of Melrose Care Home and indeed, all good care homes is to provide support that is tailored to each individual’s needs, so they can live their lives the way they want to and with freedom and dignity. Care homes can also help take the stress off family members who may have to balance providing assistance with work or family commitments.
How Do You Pay for a Nursing Home?
However, the care home costs can often put people off, even if it’s clearly the best possible option. A huge part of this is because there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what help is available to the elderly in general and help with care home fees is just one part of the problem.
If you’re unsure what support you or a loved one is entitled to in order to cover care home costs, then here’s a quick guide to help you understand and feel less overwhelmed by some of the most pertinent points regarding care home fees.
Who Pays for Nursing Home Care?
Who pays for nursing home care depends on your individual financial situation and needs, which are calculated via a care needs assessment. The cut-off point is £23,250, after which you are responsible for meeting your own nursing home costs.
However, you may be eligible for continued healthcare funding from the NHS if you are classed as having “ongoing and substantial healthcare needs” and this would count beyond that threshold. While there is no hard and fast rule as to what qualifies as “ongoing and substantial healthcare needs”, an example may be something along the lines of a severe stroke.
At the other end of the spectrum, earning less than £14,250 will entitle you to the maximum financial support that is offered. This will include all benefits with the exception of personal expense allowance. Over this amount – as in between £14,250 and £23,250 – you will have to pay an additional £1 for every £250 of your savings.
You will also have to pay for your care home fees if you do not have £23,250 in capital but have a high enough weekly income to cover the nursing home fees yourself.
Assuming you are over the threshold and do not qualify for funding from the NHS, the amount you will have to pay towards care home costs will depend on factors such as your savings, property and income including benefits. This includes the value of your state pension, the value of your property, the value of savings as well as the interest earned on those savings. The benefits taken into account also include disability living allowance, pension credit and attendance allowance.
What Happens When the Money Runs Out?
When it comes to finding extra money to pay for elderly care costs, often people are not claiming benefits that they are entitled to. This is often due to them being unaware of their eligibility. You can get some free financial advice from Citizens Advice Bureau to see if you could be entitled to any benefits that you are not currently claiming. Equity release is another option to consider. There’s also Immediate Care Annuity, which is a regular fixed payment from an insurance company to you or your loved one while in a care home.
Immediate Care Annuity can be deeply complex and can cost tens of thousands of pounds in savings if poor decisions are made. Due to its complexity, we cannot go through all of its details here and instead, we suggest you speak to a professional financial adviser. With the amount of money that is at stake, it is likely that this decision will save much more than you spend on the advice in the long run.
Another thing that a financial advisor can help you or your loved one with is the decision to hand assets to a family member, such as a gift to children or grandchildren. This is a complicated issue as the authorities may believe that this is being done in order to increase the amount they need to pay towards your care costs. This is known as “self-deprivation of assets”. Make sure you don’t give away assets to find that it causes further problems down the line.
The good news is that help with paying for elderly care is ultimately dependant on your financial situation. However, it is important that you are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the money you need is available.
How to Pay for a Care Home?
If this is a lot to take in, remember that while there are several other factors to consider, understanding who pays for residential care for the elderly can be summed up rather simply. If someone needs a care home place, then this will require means testing. This means test will assess your capital based on your savings and property.
If your capital is less than £14,250, you will not have to pay anything. Instead, the local council will pay for your care, although eligible income is still taken into account. If your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250, then it will be partly paid by the council and partly paid by the resident. If your capital is more than £23,250, you will have to be self-funding. Ultimately, for all its complexities, this is how care fees are broken down in the simplest terms.
There’s no doubt that when it comes to getting help with care home fees, it can all be incredibly complicated, and we hope that this information helps you navigate your way through the process of paying for a care home. This is intended as a starting point for what can be a very muddied subject, and we advise you to seek out further advice if you deem it necessary.
Other options for those who may not need residential care also include at home care and live in care if this would be more suitable to you or your loved one’s individual situation. Those looking after people at home could be entitled to a carer’s allowance.