paying for care home fees in the UK

March 2024

Paying for Care Home Fees – 17 Ways To Pay In March 2024

Taking the first step toward navigating how to pay for care can seem overwhelming. Whether you’re considering care for yourself or a loved one, it is necessary to completely understand care home fees, home care costs, and funding options. This article sheds light on these options, providing a clearer understanding of paying for care.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Understanding the Basics of Paying for Care 

When beginning your journey of paying for care, first consider the basics. Care can be provided in various settings like care homes, nursing homes, or your own home. The cost of care is dependent on the type of care required, the location, and the individual’s financial situation.  

The UK government provides certain benefits and allowances for those needing care. These include Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, and NHS-funded nursing care. However, these benefits are only available to those who fit specific eligibility criteria and may not cover the full cost of care.

Before making a decision, it is important to fully understand the cost of care. The average cost of residential care in a care home in the UK is around £ 950 per week, and nursing care can be over £1000 per week. However, depending on the level of care required, home care can often be more cost-effective.

It’s important to research how the local authority can provide funding toward the cost of care. They perform a means test to determine your financial situation and how much you can contribute towards your care, meaning that this may not be suitable for everyone. This assessment can seem daunting, but it’s crucial to secure the right funding for your care needs.

Paying for Care Home Fees

Care home fees represent a large percentage of the cost of care. These fees can include accommodation costs, personal care help, and ,if necessary, nursing care. The average cost for a private room in a care home in the UK can be between £600 and  £950 per week.

As mentioned earlier, when you move into a care home, the local authority conducts a financial assessment or a ‘means test’. This assessment looks at your income, savings, and property to determine how much you can contribute towards your care home fees. If your overall net worth is over the upper capital limit (£23,250 in England), you’re usually expected to pay the full cost of your care.

It’s worth noting that some assets aren’t considered in the financial assessment. For example, the council usually considers only half of the balance for a joint savings account. Similarly, your home won’t be assessed  if your spouse, civil partner, a close relative aged over 60, or a disabled relative lives there.

If you cannot afford care home payments, the local council may contribute. However, you might be asked to pay a ‘top-up fee’ if choosing a more expensive care home than the council thinks necessary for your assessed needs.

Paying for care home fees and elderly care costs – 17 options available to you

  1. Local Authority Funding
  2. Self-Funding
  3. Care Annuity
  4. Long Term Care Insurance
  5. Rental Income
  6. Equity Release
  7. Deferred Payment Scheme with your local council
  8. Income from Investments
  9. Savings
  10. Pension
  11. NHS Continued Healthcare Funding
  12. Third Party Top-Ups
  13. Personal health budgets
  14. Charitable grants
  15. Care support grants
  16. Selling personal belongngs
  17. Veternas funding for care

Paying for care at home or a care home

Before we look at the options for care home funding, here is a useful video discussing paying for care at home and paying for care homes.

Financial Assessment and Funding for Care Homes

The ‘means test’ is a vital and necessary part of understanding your care funding options. If the financial assessment shows that you can’t afford to pay for your care, the local authority can pay towards the cost.

To plan how your care and support will be provided, a personal budget is usually put in place.

However, you’ll be classed as a ‘self-funder’ if you can afford to pay for your own care.

Self funders can choose their care home, but they have to pay the full cost. Self-funders may still be able to claim benefits such as: Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or a Personal Independent Payment. .

It’s worth considering NHS funding to support you as it can be used to fund care. Through this, the NHS pays a contribution toward your nursing home.

If you qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare or NHS-funded nursing care, this can be used towards your care costs. However, it should be considered that strict criteria and assessments are used to check eligibility for these. 

Paying for Home Care Vs Residential Care

 Making a choice between home care and residential care can be challenging. Home care allows you to stay home while receiving the help you need. You also avoid paying accommodation fees.

Meanwhile, residential care can have its upsides and downsides as you move into the care home. 

Home care can often be less expensive than residential care. The cost of home care depends on the amount of support you need, the council potentially covering some of this cost.

Overall, a care home may be cheaper, depending if your care needs are extensive and require 24 hour attention.

The choice between home care and residential care is often based on personal preference and care needs. Some may prefer to stay in their own home and in familiar surroundings.

Others might benefit from a care home’s 24-hour support and social opportunities. Depending on your needs, NHS funding can be applied to both home and residential care. However, the application process for NHS Continuing Healthcare can be complicated, and only some are eligible.

Paying for Care at Home

When opting for care at home the question ‘do you have to pay for carers in your own home?’ arises. The pay depends on your financial assessment outcome.

Similarly to funding care in care homes and nursing homes, the council pays a specific amount depending on your financial situation, up to a certain limit. They may also offer top up fees if you struggle to afford your own care. 

The cost of home care can vary, depending on the level of support you need. It can range from a few hours a week of personal care to full-time live-in care depending on need. 

Evaluating Care Costs for the Elderly

 When gauging the cost of elderly care it is important to consider: 

  • Type of care needed
  • Where the care will be provided
  • The individual’s financial situation

As mentioned earlier, care home fees can range between £600 and £950 per week, whilst home care costs can vary depending on the level and amount of care  required.

The cost of care is often concerning for many elderly people and their families. However, financial help is available from a range of sources, including the local council and NHS.

As mentioned previously, it’s also worth exploring benefits like Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or NHS-funded nursing care.

Remember, the cost of care can vary depending on the region and local authority.

For example, care homes in the South of England are more expensive than in the North. Therefore, it’s vital to research care costs in your preferred location.

Disability Benefits and Attendance Allowance in Care Funding

Disability benefits can be enormous factors when thinking about care funding . These benefits include Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Both provide financial help to people who have extra care or mobility needs due to a disability. Pay depends, however, on strict eligibility criteria and assessment. 

Attendance Allowance is another benefit which older people with a disability can gain help from. It’s worth noting that this benefit may be more available as it isn’t means tested, meaning that it doesn’t matter what other income or savings you have.

These benefits can provide essential financial support, yet they may not cover the entire cost of your care. Therefore, you may need to explore additional funding options, charities or pay towards your care costs.

Navigating Local Council and NHS Funding for Care

Although navigating the funding options available for care can feel overwhelming, it is necessary as they can provide significant financial help which may elevate the standard of care an individual can afford. 

As mentioned previously, the local authority can contribute to both home care and care home costs, depending on the result of your financial assessment.  They may provide a personal budget to help pay for your care and support. 

NHS funding for care, such as continuing healthcare or NHS-funded nursing care, can also be used to help pay for care costs . These will be provided as long as strict eligibility criteria is met when assessed.  

Remember, while these funding options can provide substantial help, you may still need to pay for a portion of your care. Therefore, planning ahead and considering all potential costs and funding options is crucial when planning for care.

Paying for care can be increasingly complicated in the UK.  If you fully educate yourself on the basic costs, eligibility for benefits, and funding options, this process can be navigated more confidently. It’s always recommended to seek advice from professionals or trusted organisations to make the most informed care decisions.

Understanding Care Home Funding and Financial Assessment

Again, fully understanding care home funding and exploring your options is particularly important when planning for elderly care.

Care home funding can come from various sources, including personal funds, local council support, NHS funding, and specific benefits.

A large percentage of care home funding is self funding, where individuals or their families pay for their care out of pocket. Self-funders are usually those with capital above the upper limit set by the local council (around £23,500).

It’s worth considering that self-funding can offer more choice in selecting a care home, but it can also be financially challenging. Local council funding is another avenue that is important to explore, the previously mentioned ‘means-tested needs assessment’ determining the level of care needed and the individual’s financial situation.

This means the council may contribute to the full cost or the person in care may have to pay a ‘top-up fee’. 

Some individuals might qualify for NHS-funded nursing care.

This contributes to the cost of nursing care, provided directly by the NHS. It’s not means-tested and can be received regardless of who funds the rest of the care.  However, it is dependent primarily on health and care needs. . 

Paying for Elderly Care

As touched-on earlier, elderly care costs can vary massively depending on the type of care needed, the care setting, and the individual’s financial circumstances. Options for elderly care include:

  • Residential care involves the individual moving into a care home where personal care, and sometimes nursing care, is provided. Paying for residential care typically involves care home fees, including accommodation and personal care costs. 
  • If the elderly individual has a high level of care needs, they might require a nursing home. Paying for nursing home care can be more expensive due to the higher level of care provided. However, individuals might be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care, helping to offset the cost.
  • It’s also worth mentioning the role of social care in elderly care costs. Social care covers non-medical care, such as help with personal care or home adaptations to suit disabilities. This can be provided in the individual’s own home, a care home, or a nursing home. Subject to a means test, the local council can partly fund the social care cost

Navigating Free Personal Care and Personal Expenses Allowance

Some individuals may be eligible for free personal care in a certain threshold. This is non-medical care provided to help with daily tasks like; bathing, dressing, or eating.

In Scotland, free personal care is provided to all adults in need (as assessed by the local council).  

It can be used for personal items like toiletries, clothing, or leisure activities. When paying for care, the Personal Expenses Allowance is another financial aspect to consider.

This allows money for personal expenses if the local council has assessed them as eligible for having care costs covered/contributed toward. 

Please still remember that whilst these options can provide a level of financial help ,individuals may still need to plan to contribute toward their care costs.  

Role of Family Members and Temporary Stay in Care 

Family members are important in the role of providing care for certain circumstances. They can provide informal care, help navigate care options, or support their relatives financially towards care costs.

However, providing care can be physically and emotionally demanding.

It’s important for family members to consider their own needs, seek support when needed and find avenues of managing their mental wellbeing.

Respite care is a temporary stay in a care home which provides a break for family caregivers.

The recipient would stay in the care home for a short period and this is funded either partially by the local council or by the recipient and their family. The cost of this may vary.

Family members also need to be involved in the financial assessment process.

They can provide essential information about the individual’s financial situation and care needs.

However, it’s worth noting that the individual’s financial assessment is based on their personal income and other assets, and their family is not included. 

Considering Social Care and State Pension in Care Costs

Social care and the state pension can significantly impact care costs.

This type of care, which covers non-medical care, can be provided in the individual’s own home or a care home.  This care can be provided by the local council, yet personal contribution may be required. 

The state pension is a regular payment made by the UK government to individuals who have reached State Pension age.

It provides a regular income towards living costs and can also be used towards care. However, it’s important to remember that the State Pension might not cover the full cost of care which means that future planning is crucial.

Understanding the role of the State pension in care funding can be confusing, so it is recommended to seek advice from professionals who can support you in making informed care decisions. 

paying for care

Insurance for Care Home Fees in the UK

Individuals and families in the United Kingdom can manage the costs of long-term care through insurance for nursing home fees.

These insurance products can provide peace of mind and financial security.

Long-term care insurance is an example of a policy of insurance to cover care home fees.

If the policyholder cannot perform certain activities of daily living, this type of insurance provides a pre-agreed-upon regular income to assist with care costs.

An alternative is an immediate needs annuity, or a care fees annuity. This involves a one-time lump sum payment in exchange for a lifetime income guarantee designed specifically to cover nursing home costs.

Insurance for care home fees is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The cost and suitability of these policies can vary based on several variables, such as the individual’s age, health status, and required level of care.

When contemplating insurance, it is essential to seek professional guidance. Specialist financial advisors can provide individualised recommendations based on the individual’s situation and requirements.

Insurance can play a significant role, but it is only one piece of the puzzle.

Other financial resources, such as personal savings, pensions, and potential state assistance, should also be accounted for in the overall strategy for funding care.

Ultimately, insurance to cover care home fees is about future planning.

It is about ensuring that if care is required, the financial aspect is already covered, allowing individuals and their families to focus on their health and well-being.

Using Rental Income

If you are fortunate enough to not have to sell your house, then renting your home out, if you move to a residential care home could be a viable option.

This is a good idea if your family is keen on keeping the property or if a quick sale will bring in less the property’s full value. When renting out your home, factor in periods when the property will be vacant and the ongoing home maintenance costs.

Income generated from tenants can, therefore, help with care home fees. Note that the income is taxable and you could pay capital gain tax if the property is sold. Therefore, using rental income should be an option only if the income generated can cater to any shortfall between income and your care fees. Also, be ready for the ongoing responsibility of being a landlord.

You can get advice and read more about the pros and cons of using rental income to pay for care here.

Using Equity Release

One of the most common ways when it comes to meeting care costs, if you are a home owner, is to use equity release.

This is when you can access some value of your home while living in it. You can use the money for anything, including funding care. Equity release schemes have some risks attached to them, so you should consider these alongside the numerous advantages.

The two main types of equity release schemes are lifetime mortgage and home reversion. It’s important to get advice from equity release specialists before using equity release.

Here is a short video that explains what equity release is and how it works.

"If you are fortunate enough to not have to sell your house, then renting your home out, if you move to a residential care home could be a viable option."

Using a Deferred Payment Scheme

Here, your local council will pay towards the cost of care –up to a certain amount –for life.

This is where a loan is secured against your home at a fixed interest rate. You’ll have to sign a legal agreement with the local council agreeing to repay the amount owed, any added interests, and any annual administration charges once the home is sold upon death. Using a Deferred Payment scheme is only possible if you meet the following criteria:

  • Live in or plan on living in a residential care home
  • You own a home or any other asset that the local council can use as security
  • Your total capital (excluding your home) is below the upper threshold

Consider renting out your home. The income can be used to make care home payments, thus reducing the local authority’s bill.

You can read more about deferred payment schemes here.

how much can you keep before paying for care uk

Using Income from Investments

Using income from investments is another great way to contribute to the care cost.

The first step is to arrange for your current assets to generate a steady income. For instance, if you are moving to a residential care home, you can sell your home and invest the money. 

Due to potentially adverse market conditions and the volatility of any investment, you can reduce risks by investing in low to medium risk investments such as government bonds or corporate bonds, dividend-paying stocks and ETFs, etc.

It’s a good idea to get financial advice to help you choose suitable long term investments.

Using Savings

The good thing about using savings to fund care is that it’s readily accessible, it’s a low-risk investment, and no fees or charges are involved.

But how much savings can you have before paying for care for the elderly? Any amount of savings can be used to pay for your care, but you should probably consider other funding options if you’re likely to run out of money.

You can read more about how you can use your savings income here.

Using Your Pension and Income Drawdown

Many people that going into care home are likely to be receiving a pension and this is often what funds care for many.

Paying for care using your pension and income drawdown can be a great option only if you have other assets that can comfortably fund your retirement.

To consider this funding option, you should be over 55 years and have pension savings that are already in a drawdown or can be moved into a drawdown product. This is also ideal if you don’t need your pension savings to provide income or fund other costs.

Using NHS Continued Healthcare Funding

If your primary need is health, then the NHS paying for care is another option to consider.

The eligibility requirements are, however, quite complicated and change from time to time. Using NHS continued healthcare funding (CHC) is only possible if you have complex ongoing healthcare needs. Also, if you’ve been discharged from a hospital into a care setting, you should be offered an assessment to determine if you qualify for this funding.

Here is a useful video with advice on how CHC funding works.

paying for care at home

Using a Third Party Top Up

If you are eligible for support from the local authority, the council will offer a variety of care homes that meet their funding rates. If you choose to live in a more expensive home, consider using a third party top up fee top-up to pay up the difference. Note that the money cant be paid from the person needing care.

The person making the care home payments could be a relative, friend, or a charitable organisation, but as we said, not yourself.

The only time you can top up your own fees is when you enter into a period in which the council doesn’t consider your property’s value or if you have a deferred payment agreement, as discussed earlier.

Personal Health Budgets

These allow individuals to take charge of their own healthcare and make appropriate decisions. 

They are given NHS funds that can be used to pay for services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and counselling. 

This personal care budget can also be used to hire personal assistants or purchase equipment. Personal Health Budgets allow individuals to tailor assistance to their specific needs.

This method of paying for care is growing in popularity because it allows people to access the services they require in the manner and at the time that best suits them. Here you can learn more about Personal Health Budgets.

Charitable Grants

The recipients of charitable grants receive financial assistance. Numerous organisations provide financial aid to individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Before applying for a grant, ensuring you are eligible and have the necessary supporting materials is essential.

Most charities only accept applications from individuals, but if a caretaker or family member applies on your behalf, you may be eligible for financial assistance. 

On the website of the Charity Commission, you can find exhaustive lists of registered charities that can assist you with funding your care expenses.

Care Support Grants

In needy cases, the NHS may provide financial assistance to assist with the cost of care. These are known as Care Support Grants and can be used to pay for anything from transportation to clothing.

Before applying, you must consult your physician or nurse practitioner, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action. The NHS website contains additional information about Care Support Grants.

Selling Personal Belongings

If you own a home or other personal property, they can contribute to your care costs. Selling your home may be the most viable option, but it’s important to consider the repercussions before doing so.

You can also sell any assets that could contribute to the cost of care. Consult a financial advisor if you are uncertain as to whether this is suitable for your situation.

Whatever choice you make, it is in your best interest to conduct research and explore all available options in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Veterans’ Funding for Care Homes

There may be grants available to help with care costs for veterans. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund provides money to service members and veterans who require additional assistance with medical expenses.

You can also access support through the Veterans UK website, which provides information on other funding sources for veterans in need.

Before making decisions regarding funding for care homes, you must consult with your local council or healthcare provider. They can recommend the best course of action and provide additional direction when necessary.

Do dementia sufferers have to pay care home fees?

A dementia diagnosis can be difficult enough on its own without the added concern of how to go about paying for dementia care on top of the standard cost of elderly care.

Some grants may be able to provide financial assistance if you or a loved one suffers from dementia. The Dementia UK charity provides grants and financial information to those affected by the disease and can assist with care-related expenses.

You can also seek advice from your local Alzheimer’s Society, which will be able to provide assistance and direction regarding funding for dementia.

So do dementia sufferers have to pay care home fees? It depends on your circumstances as there are various ways to pay for care. If you are uncertain about the best course of action, you should seek professional guidance. 

When necessary, your local health authority or council should be able to provide additional information.

Financial Support for Those with Disabilities

If you or a loved one have a disability, you may be eligible for funding to assist with care expenses. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) provides financial assistance to those in need, which can be used for anything from personal care to mobility aids.

You can also contact your local social services department, which will be able to provide guidance on the most effective means of obtaining assistance. They should be able to provide information on grants and other forms of financial aid that could be used to cover the cost of care.

In addition, many charitable organisations offer specialised advice and assistance to people with disabilities. Investigating organisations that can provide financial assistance in times of need is worthwhile.

Tax Relief & Benefits

Those in need may receive some financial assistance from the government. Certain tax reliefs and benefits, such as Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance, may assist with care expenses.

Contact your local HMRC office for additional information on these and other available forms of assistance. They can advise you on how to access financial aid most effectively when necessary.

In some instances, charitable organisations that provide grants to those in need of care may be able to offer additional funds.

By researching all available options and consulting with professionals, you should be able to find a method of paying for care that meets your specific requirements.

Funding Options for Those Under 65 Years Old

If you are under 65 years old, there are additional options for funding your care. These consist of:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

This is a non-means-tested benefit for those who struggle with day-to-day activities due to disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Adult Social Care

Local governments provide social care services to those who meet certain eligibility requirements. Your local government should be able to provide additional details of whether they can help you with paying for social care.

Attendance Allowance

This is a tax-free benefit for seniors over 65 who require assistance with personal care due to illness or disability.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

DLA can assist with disability-related expenses, such as specialised equipment or home modifications.

Carer’s Allowance

This is a means-tested benefit for those who regularly provide care for another person. It can be applied to the price of care.

These are some of the potential funding options for care. Before making a decision, it is essential to investigate all available alternatives.

How to Avoid Paying For Care

Realising you need thousands of pounds to pay for care homes can be shocking. For that reason, it’s only normal for people look for ways to protect their assets.

The biggest concern for many is how to avoid selling their home to pay for care and how much savings can you have before paying for care? The truth is this isn’t a simple question to answer. 

How to avoid paying for care is a very complex area. It’s best to consult a solicitor with expertise and experience in this area.

Ensure you get advice tailored to your circumstances and backed up by a written report. Then, take as much time as possible to consider whether and how you wish to proceed. That being said, proper financial planning is the best way to get enough funds to meet care costs.

You can read more about the options around avoiding paying for care here.

What happens when you are self-funding care home costs and eventually run out of money?

If you are self funding care finances, you can seek local authority assistance once your capital reduces below £23,250. Remember that if the care home fees are more than what the local authority is prepared to pay for, the additional costs will have to be topped up by a third party.

This can be a great idea if the third party can do so in the long term. You can also check to see if the care provider can continue to offer their services at social services funding rates, or better yet, move a less expensive care home.

How to get an elderly person into a care home

A few crucial actions must be taken in order to place an elderly individual in a care facility. It’s crucial first to evaluate the person’s care requirements and ascertain whether a care home is the best choice.

Social services organisations or healthcare specialists can be consulted to complete this assessment.

Once a choice has been selected, it is critical to conduct research and find possible nursing homes that suit the person’s requirements and preferences. Searches online, recommendations from reliable sources, or referrals can all be used to do this.

After choosing a preferred care home, the next stages entail completing the required paperwork, reviewing and signing contracts, and taking care of financial matters, including discussing prices and payment choices.

A seamless transfer for the older person into their new care home can be achieved by working together with social services, healthcare professionals, and the selected care facility.

What is the average life expectancy in a care home (UK)?

The average life expectancy in nursing home in the United Kingdom might change depending on a number of variables.

People who live in nursing homes typically require more care and may be in their later years of life. The typical lifespan at a care facility can vary, but it’s crucial to remember that it may be lower than the typical lifespan for the general population.

This is because of things like underlying medical issues, old age, and the requirement for specialised care.

Life expectancy might differ greatly from one person to another due to the unique circumstances and health conditions that each person has.

It is important to remember that the main objective of care homes is to offer a secure and encouraging atmosphere for people who need help with their everyday activities.

Care facilities work to enhance residents’ quality of life by making sure they get the support, care, and companionship they require.

While life expectancy is taken into account, the main goals are to provide residents with comprehensive care, foster well-being, and improve their overall quality of life while they are residing in a care facility.

FAQ

1. What options are available for funding a care home?

There are several options for funding a care home: 

  • Self-funding is one option where individuals, or their families, pay for care home fees out of their pocket. 
  • Local council support is another option where, subject to a means-tested financial assessment, the council will potentially contribute to the cost of care. 
  • Some individuals might qualify for NHS-funded nursing care, a non-means tested contribution towards the cost of nursing care provided directly by the NHS. 
  • It’s also worth noting that rental income, if you have a property that you rent out, can also be used to fund care home costs.

2. How can a family member assist in the care funding process?

Family members can play a significant role in the care funding process, the council potentially asking them to provide essential information during the ‘means-tested assessment’. The council pays for care based on this assessment.

Family members can also help navigate the different funding options, including self-funding, council support, and NHS funding. However, it’s important to note that the financial assessment is based on the individual’s income and assets, meaning that their family is not considered.  

3. What is a top-up fee in the context of care home fees?

A top-up fee is an additional fee you might have to pay, depending if your chosen care home exceeds the amount which the council has agreed to pay towards your care fees.

If you are unable to be admitted to a care home, or you choose a more expensive care home than the council deems necessary, you may have to pay an amount towards the costs. This difference is called a ‘top-up fee’.

4. What does it mean to be a self-funder in the context of care home funding?

A self-funder pays the full cost of their care, often because their assets and income exceed the maximum capital when they are assessed . Self-funders can choose their care home, but they bear the full cost.

To help toward costs, they may apply for benefits like NHS funded nursing care or Attendance Allowance. These benefits aren’t means-tested,  instead based on personal care needs. 

 5. How does a care needs assessment influence the cost of care?

A care needs assessment, conducted by the local council, is key to determining how much an individual’s care will cost as it considers the level of care and complexity required. After this, a financial assessment is conducted to determine how much the individual can contribute towards their care.

If the individual’s assets and income, excluding certain assets based on asset rules, fall below the council’s threshold, the council may pay towards the cost of care. Payment is further dependent on other circumstances, such as the availability of certain benefits and allowances under that local authority.

6. What is nursing care, and how is it funded?

Nursing care is the provision of care by a registered nurse. It can be administered in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, a residential home, and the individual’s residence.

The funding for nursing care may vary based on the individual’s financial situation and whether or not they receive NHS continuing care.

7. What are own top-up fees, and when might they be required?

Individuals pay their own top-up fees in addition to what the council or the National Health Service pays for their care.

They may be required if the individual wishes to receive care that is more expensive than what is offered by the council or the National Health Service.

8. How do financial circumstances affect paying for care?

A person’s financial situation can affect the amount they end up paying for nursing home care and the types of care they can receive. Individuals with greater income or savings may be expected to contribute more towards their care costs.

9. What is NHS continuing healthcare, and how does it relate to paying for care?

NHS continuing healthcare is a fully funded care package for individuals with complex healthcare needs. It can pay for various services, such as nursing care, personal care, and medical equipment.

10. What is the role of local authorities in paying for care?

Local governments are responsible for assessing the social care needs of individuals and determining how to fund their care.

Depending on the individual’s financial situation and level of need, they may provide some or all of the funding for their care.

11. What are the upper and lower capital limits, and how do they impact paying for care?

The upper and lower capital limits are thresholds used to determine a person’s required contribution to their care costs. If a person’s savings or assets exceed the upper capital limit, they may be required to pay the full cost of their care. If their assets fall below the minimum limit, they may not be required to contribute to their care costs.

12.What are top-up fees, and how do they work?

A person pays top-up fees in addition to what the council pays for their care. They may be required if the individual wishes to receive more expensive care than the council provides. The council must approve the additional fees, and they cannot be assessed if the individual is unable or unwilling to pay.

Meet the author

William Jackson

William is a leading writer for our site, specialising in both finance and health sectors.

With a keen analytical mind and an ability to break down complex topics, William delivers content that is both deeply informative and accessible. His dual expertise in finance and health allows him to provide a holistic perspective on topics, bridging the gap between numbers and wellbeing. As a trusted voice on the UK Care Guide site, William’s articles not only educate but inspire readers to make informed decisions in both their financial and health journeys.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does elderly care cost?

One of the first things that you need to think about is how much you expect care for you or a loved one to cost.

The answer to the question “how much do you have to pay for care” will depend on a number of things including:

  • Location
  • Who pays for the care
  • An individual’s care and support needs, including accommodation, meals, health care, heating and lighting, laundry, and so on
  • The care provider, whether residential or home care
  • The current demand for placement at a particular care home
  • The Care Quality Commission rating of the care provider
  • Whether you have to pay for financial advice on the best ways to pay
  • What support you get from your local council

Who Pays For A Care Home?

When seeking care for yourself or for a loved one, it’s important to be certain about costs and affordability, and fully understand what the state provides.

In the UK, there’s a national standard for charging care home fees and determining who’s responsible for paying.

Generally, there are two threshold limits: the upper threshold and the lower threshold.

If the financial assessment, or means test, shows that an individual’s capital is above the upper threshold, then they’ll be expected to cater for their social care. But if the financial assessment, or means test, shows that you are in the lower threshold, you’ll be means-tested to determine how much state help you qualify for.

How to Avoid Paying For Care

It can be shocking to realise you need thousands of pounds to pay for care homes. For that reason, it’s only normal that people look for ways to protect their assets.

The biggest concern for many is how to avoid selling their home to pay for care and how much savings can you have before paying for care? The truth is this isn’t a simple question to answer. This text below will explain how you can possibly mitigate care fees rather than wholly avoiding them.

How to avoid paying for care is a very complex area. It’s best to consult a solicitor with expertise and experience in this area.

What happens when you are self-funding your care and eventually run out of money?

You can seek local authority assistance once your capital reduces below £23,250. Keep in mind that if the care home fees are more than what the local authority is prepared to pay for, the costs will have to be topped up by a third party.

This can be a great idea if the third party can do so in the long term. You can also check to see if the care provider can continue to offer their services at social services funding rates, or better yet, move a less expensive care home.

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