I’m sure you will agree that when it comes to finding out about the costs of a care home, it can get very confusing!
On this page, this is the help you will find:
UK care home fees, sometimes referred to as nursing home fees, are something that you need to calculate carefully, particularly as accommodation fees can be over £1,500 per week!
We have produced a care costs calculator (below) that will allow you to put in the area of the country where you live and use that to estimate the average cost of care homes over the short, medium and long term.
Once you have done this, we would strongly recommend that you look at the different ways in which you can meet your care home fees.
The cost of care homes depends on where in the UK you live and what type of care you need. The latest research shows that average care home fees range from £27,000 to £39,000 per annum for a residential care home. Care costs increase to £35,000 – £55,000 per year if nursing care is required.
The support research was undertaken by Laing & Buisson.
Use the calculator below if you want to know how much do care homes cost per week.
Please select your current area (by county)
What year will you go into residential care?
How many years will you be in the care home?
Please select your current area (by county)
What year will you start needing home care?
How many hours a week of care do you need?
How many years will you need home care for?
You can read more about avoiding care home fees below, but this video also gives you some background to what is and is not possible.
You can also see this video about avoiding care home fees on youtube.
Answered below are some of the regular questions we get asked about nursing care home costs.
Your ability to pay for UK care will be determined through a means test called a Care Needs Assessment. You can read more about that here.
In simple terms, the accommodation where you live, ie your property. will not be included if you’re arranging care and support at home and may not be included if you live with a partner, child, or a relative who is disabled or over the age of 60.
Therefore, in this circumstance, you will not need to sell your house.
The cut-off point after which you are responsible for meeting your own care home charges is £23,250. If you are paying your own fees then this is known as self-funding. If your capital and income are above this then it is likely that you will need to provide for your own care fees.
If your circumstances mean that you have capital and income under the savings threshold for care home fees then you might get some help from your local council, but you may still need to pay some fees. You will be able to look at whether a social care budget can be provided to you.
Anyone classed as having ongoing and substantial care needs could be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare funding.
For example, Alzheimer’s patients with intense and unpredictable care needs, or someone who is recovering from a stroke in their own home following a period in a hospital may be eligible.
In this circumstance, through continuing healthcare funding, the NHS will support and meet all your fees irrespective of the savings threshold for care home fees.
More and more people are now looking at Live in Care services to provide an alternative to a care home.
This is because it is often much cheaper and also means that you can 1 to 1 care support, which is important to a lot of families. The costs are also cheaper as you are responsible for providing accommodation for the carer, typically in the home of the person receiving the care.
VIDEO – Here is a short video that explains how live in care works.
You can also see this video on live in care on youtube.
The financial support available will depend on what wealth you have, but if you live in England and have savings of more than £23,250 then paying for care will be your responsibility. This is known as self-funding.
At present, the cost of residential care will be means-tested through a care needs support assessment, which means the more money you have, the less financial support you potentially can receive through a social care budget. However, if you have what is considered as continuing care needs, then NHS continuing healthcare may be able to fund all your care.
However, to receive this support you need to have a ‘primary health’ need. You can read more about NHS continued health care funding here. If you are looking at fees for someone with dementia, it is likely that the NHS won’t treat this as a primary need.
Therefore, you may need to fund this yourself and it is about 20% higher than typical nursing home fees.
Before you move into a care home, your local council will undertake a care needs and financial help assessment, which include your income, savings and property and then calculate how much you will need to contribute towards your care.
Care Homes are expensive and there could be better options out there for you!
Use our Equity Release calculator to see how much money you could get from your home, tax-free!
The money can be used to pay for care, take a holiday of a lifetime, top-up your pension, help your family out financially.......and so much more!
There is a personal savings threshold for care homes fees in the UK.
If you live in either England or Northern Ireland and has capital of less than £14,250 (based on 2019/20 rates), you will be entitled to maximum financial help and support.
Anyone receiving full funding will have to contribute all of their income (including benefits, which they must claim) to the local authority, except for the personal expense allowance.
If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 in capital, you have to contribute towards your fees.
You will have to pay £1 for every £250 of your savings between £14,250 and £23,250. This is known as ‘tariff income’ and they will also need to contribute all of their income towards the fees, except for the personal expenses allowance.
As explained above, the personal savings threshold is something you need to consider. If you have capital of more than the savings threshold then you will need to use that capital to pay the full cost of your care.
If you have less than £23,250 in capital, but a weekly income high enough to cover your care home fees, you will be liable to meet them all.
The savings threshold for differs depending on which part of the country you live:
Wales £24,000 for home care or £50,000 for care homes
Northern Ireland £23,250
When your local authority assesses you to see if paying for care is your responsibility, it will look to include things such as:
If you have been assessed as having more than £23,250 then paying for your care will be your responsibility. But there may be some alternatives to consider.
If you give away some of your assets as a gift, say to your children, and then look to claim assistance from your local council, they may well say that you have done this deliberately to avoid paying for your care costs.
This is called ‘self-deprivation of assets’ and the local authority may well undertake your means testing including the value of assets that you gave away. For more information, you can read our article on avoiding care home fees.
This is a complicated area but doesn’t mean you cannot pass what you have to family and friends. If you are interested in protecting your wealth then you may be able to do so by putting them into a trust. The three most popular types are:
If you have been assessed as having less than £23,250 then the cost of your care home will be met by your local authority.
When you look at how much will local authority pay for a care home, as part of your care needs and financial assessment, your local authority will arrange suitable residential care or nursing care home for you depending on how much they are willing to contribute.
This amount of support changes between local councils.
If you have been told that the local authority will help pay and support towards the cost of care, then they will also tell you how much they are willing to pay towards the cost of your residential care.
Each council will pay a different amount towards the cost. Therefore you will need to speak your authority directly to understand what they will pay.
You should remember that this does not mean they will always pay for all your residential and/or nursing care.
You can choose alternative care homes if they charge the same price.
Paying for care means that you have some discretion over where you go. You can choose to move into residential care or a nursing care home if it is more expensive than what your local authority will pay. But, you will need to pay the difference in cost.
If your local authority will only pay £500 per week but the home you have chosen is £700 per week, then you will need to arrange for someone to pay the additional £200.
You will not be able to pay this if your assets are less than £23,250. The additional amount is usually paid by a third party (usually a friend or relative) and is called a ‘third party contribution’.
More expensive care homes often have nicer facilities, such as firmer beds, leather recliners etc, so they are worth looking at if you, or someone else, can afford it. You can use the money saved in purchases with discount codes to help for these items.
It is really important that you first ensure you are getting all the support, benefits and credits that you are entitled to.
You then need to ensure that you look at all your wealth savings and think carefully about how you will use them in the most efficient way.
There are typically 5 ways people use to pay for their care. You can read about each of these choices below:
– Use a deferred payment agreement – This is where your Local Authority effectively pays for your care and levies a cost against your home
Equity release can be used to pay for your home care (domiciliary care) and live in care. However, it is more complicated if you are moving to a care home. One option you could investigate is using the proceeds to buy a care annuity.
Our experience is that once people see what they can have from equity release, in the form of a tax-free lump sum, it often makes them realise that domiciliary care or live in care is a better alternative. As it is often cheaper, means you get to stay in your home and you get one to one personal care.
VIDEO – Here is a short video that explains how it works.
Click the calculator below to see how much you could get. You can read more about equity release calculators on this site.
We have an independent directory of financial advisors that are specialists in helping you decide what your best funding options are. They will be able to give you the financial help and advice you need to decide on what the best course of action is for you.
The majority of the advisors in the directory are all members of the Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA), which means they are specialists in later life care funding. Always ensure that any advisor you speak too has this qualification as you will know that they can give you the advice that you need.
SOLLA helps people and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life.
As you can see from above, it is hard to avoid paying fees, especially where you are taking action solely for the purpose of avoiding care fees. However, by planning your finances early and efficiently, you can mitigate some of the impacts.
Also if you do your planning early enough it may be possible to use a trust to transfer ownership of your home and therefore not have it counted towards the cost of any care.
Read our section on how to avoid care home fees if this is of interest. We would strongly suggest you take professional advice if you are looking at this route.
Another option to consider maybe getting respite care. This means that if you are caring for someone, you can get a carer to come and take your place for a short while. You can read about respite care and costs on this website. This could be cheaper than putting someone in a care home full time.
This is increasingly becoming a popular option as this is much cheaper than going in to care home and allows you to remain in an environment where you are comfortable and familiar.
If you prefer home care services and need some with you permanently, then you can look at Live In Care. This is becoming very popular as it allows someone to be with you for 24 hours and also allows you to stay at home.
You can read more about live in care here. In our view, this type of care will take over from residential care, just as it brings a better experience for the person needing care.
If you do decide that care at home is a better option than there are a number of things that you can do to make your life much more comfortable. For example, the first thing that people often do is get themselves a more comfortable chair.
Yes. If you are considering receiving domiciliary care, then one further funding option to consider would be equity release. You can read our article here on how equity release works.
a) allow you to stay at home
b) allow you to access cash tax-free from your home
c) allow you to use the money to modify your home to allow you to continue to live comfortably at home
If you are looking at equity release we would strongly recommend that you seek financial advice.
The four most important things that you can do are to:
This will help ensure you determine what happens to your assets. If you don’t make a will the government will decide what happens to your money and assets, and this may not be in line with what you would have wanted. You can read more about what will writing services offer here.
This will help ensure that should your mental health deteriorate there is someone in place to make decisions on your behalf.
We strongly recommend that you read this section as there are two types of powers of attorney that you need to consider. These are a health and welfare power of attorney and a property and financial affairs power of attorney.
Not always a topic that is at the forefront of your mind, but it is important to think about how your funeral costs will be met. The average cost for a funeral plan is now in the region of £6,000 You can read more about funeral plans here.
Thinking about your assets and what you want to happen to these when the time comes is very important. Preparing for this is known as Estate Planning.
You can read more about the things to think about with regards to Estate Planning here.
You may also find our article on avoiding inheritance tax interesting. There are a number of perfectly legitimate routes that you can undertake if you wish to minimise the tax that is paid to the government upon your death.
In addition, the person that is responsible for dealing with your estate will need to get Probate. This will, therefore, allow that individual to carry out your financial and legal wishes. You can read more about what it is and Probate costs here.
The cost of a care home depends on a variety of factors including the quality, services provided and importantly where in the UK you are located. You can use the calculator on our website to estimate what your care home costs are likely to be. However, the typical range is £30,000 to £50,000 per year.
The main alternative is to use Live in Care. This is where a carer lives with you 24 hours er day. The costs can be cheaper but more importantly, it means that you receive one to one care. Something that you would not get in a care home. You can read more about Live in Care on our site.
You can easily pay £100,000 during your time in care. Therefore, it is essential that you speak to a care fees advisor who can set out all the options that you have and what the most efficient way to pay would be. Our site sets out 12 different ways that you can pay for your care.
If your only intention is to use a trust to avoid care fees then this is not possible, as it is seen as a deprivation of assets. However, if you do it early enough and with planning then you can use a Trust so that your home is excluded from any calculation towards your care home costs.
This article was written by Rose Walters a published writer that has written on a range of care related topics. Rose writes from a lot of personal experience and is able to bring this into the writing alongside the specialist knowledge she has on these topics.
Avoid expensive care home fees by paying for care at home. See how much money you could get from equity release.