Care costs in the UK – How you can reduce the burden?

Around 400,000 people in the UK live in care homes. The cost of living in a care home varies depending on the region and the kind of care you need. Nursing care costs more than residential care. For people with dementia, care costs are even higher since specialist care would be needed in such situations.

Across the UK, the average weekly cost for residential care is around £700. For nursing care, it’s around £900. The cost would be higher in a city like London when compared to a city in the North West or South East.

Many find it challenging to meet the costs of a care home. Some cannot afford it while others sell their home to pay for care costs. Is there any help you can get to reduce the burden of care costs? Thankfully, yes!

Getting help from Local Councils

The local council conducts a test called “Needs Assessment” to determine what type of care you would need. Then, they calculate the cost for your care.

After this test is done, they perform another test called “Financial Assessment”. They assess your financial situation by looking at your home, income, pension, savings, and other assets. (The local council will not consider your home if your partner or a relative are still living in it)

If the total value of your assets is under the set threshold, you qualify for funding from the local council.

The thresholds are as follows:

  • England & Northern Ireland: £23,250
  • Scotland: £28,000
  • Wales: £50,000

So, if you live in England and the value of your assets is above £23,250, your care costs will not be funded by the local council. Rather, you will be a self-funder – paying for care costs on your own.

To qualify for funding, some consider giving away assets. But please note that you cannot be involved in “Deliberate deprivation of assets”.

After the “needs assessment” and “financial assessment”, if you qualify for funding, the local council will prepare a cost-effective budget to determine how much they will pay and how much you have to pay. Be assured that they will pay a realistic amount and it will reduce your burden.

The funding from local council will have standard rates. However, in certain situations, they increase the funding. For example, if your needs can be cared for only in a more expensive home or if you need to move to a more expensive home to be closer to the family, the council may increase the funding.

Getting Help from NHS

If you are dealing with a complex health situation that needs ongoing support, you may qualify for funding from the NHS. However, the rules to qualify are quite complicated. But if you do qualify, NHS will pay for all the care costs regardless of the savings threshold.

Staying at your own home

If you aren’t eligible for funding either from NHS or local councils and if you cannot afford to be a self-funder, you may consider making your own living arrangements. With the help of support services, relatives, and friends, you can arrange to receive ongoing care while you continue to live in your own home.

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Child and Family Law

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