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 care homes cost.
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?
Answered below are some of the regular questions we get asked about care home prices.
Your ability to pay for care will be determined through a means test called a Care Needs Assessment. You can read more about that here.
In simple terms, as part of the means test, 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 and you may be eligible for some support.
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.
More and more older people that need help are now looking at Live in Care and personal care services to provide an alternative to a care home. We would recommend you look at this as you may be eligible to use this option instead.
This is because it is often much cheaper and also means that you can 1 to 1 personal 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 personal care.
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 and financial 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 still be able to fund all your care. This would be considered outside of any means test financial assessment.
However, to receive this support you need to have a ‘primary health’ need. You can read more about NHS continuing healthcare 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 still need to fund this yourself and it is about 20% higher than typical nursing care home fees.
Before you move into a care home, your local council will undertake a care needs and financial assessment, which include your income, savings and property and then calculate how much you will need to pay towards your care.
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. In effect, this means full local authority funding.
Anyone receiving full local authority funding will have to contribute all of their income (including benefits, which they must claim) to the local council, except for the personal expense allowance.
If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 in capital, you have to pay 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.
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 council 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 council may well undertake your means testing including the value of assets that you gave away.
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 also be able to do so by putting them into a trust. The three most popular types are:
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 council will arrange suitable residential care home 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 council 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 home.
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 council will pay for care. 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, 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’.
It is really important that you first ensure you are getting all the support, benefits (eg attendance allowance) and credits that you are entitled to, as older people can also receive specific age related support.
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 a number of ways people use to pay for care. some of these choices are below:
– Use a deferred payment agreement – This is where your Local Authority effectively pays for your care and levies a cost against your home
The simple answer is, YES.
It can be used to pay for your home care (also known as domiciliary care or social 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.
You can read more about equity release calculators on this site.
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 also 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.
An alternative option to consider is receiving care in the home from a home care services. This means that you stay in your own house and you can have younger and older people come and look after you there (depending on your age of course).
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.
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 older 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 releasing equity
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 this we would strongly recommend that you seek financial advice.
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 fees 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 in to 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.