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What is the cost?

United Kingdom Statistics on Care Costs

The Price of Care Home Services in the UK

The fees associated with care homes differ based on the level of care they deliver. For instance, residential care homes assisting with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing tend to be more affordable than nursing homes that offer round-the-clock support from professionally trained nursing personnel.

The expenses of care are influenced by the amenities provided by the care home. Those offering a wider range of high-end facilities and activities for residents typically command higher fees.

The location of the care home plays a role in determining costs. Generally, care homes situated in certain regions of England, like London and Kent, tend to be higher.

Care Fees

Specialised care homes, such as those focused on dementia care, typically have higher fees compared to both residential and nursing homes. Dementia is a complex condition that requires round-the-clock attention and specialised therapeutic equipment for residents.

Currently, individuals with dementia in the UK are responsible for covering their entire care costs unless their assets amount to less than £23,250. The annual care home cost for dementia care can vary but is often up to £90,000 per year.

Other forms of specialised care with elevated treatment costs include cancer, mental health, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities. Certain medical conditions can be intricate and require customised support packages, which often come at an even higher price.

Hidden Care Home Fees

While many care homes are upfront about all their fees, including add-ons such as chiropody appointments, some providers might only display the basic cost of the care home. As a result, it is crucial to inquire about any potential hidden fees during your visit to a care home. Some individuals may not be fully aware of all the expenses until after signing their care home contract.

Hidden fees may encompass:

  • Transportation (e.g., to and from medical appointments)
  • Additional amenities and entertainment (both inside and outside the care home)
  • Other charges, such as Wi-Fi and contents insurance
Care Home Costs: Exploring Payment Options

Understanding the various options for covering care home expenses is essential. There are several ways to pay for care, including self-funding and local authority funding.

Self-funded Care

If you have sufficient savings, you will be considered a self-funder. As a self-funder, you are expected to cover the full cost of your care.

To organise care as a self-funder, you can either:

  1. Arrange and pay for care independently, without involving your local council.
  2. Request that your local council arrange and pay for care; the council will then invoice you or your loved one (note that not all councils provide this service, and some may charge a fee).

Local Authority-funded Care

Your local authority or council may be able to offer financial assistance for your care home fees.

Additionally, friends or family members can contribute a top-up fee to cover the difference in cost if your preferred care home exceeds your budget.

To qualify for local authority funding, care seekers must undergo the following assessments:

  1. Care Needs Assessment: This assessment determines the level of care required from a care home. All care seekers are entitled to a free care needs assessment. If you qualify for care funding, the local authority is legally obliged to provide the necessary care services.
  2. Financial Assessment: The local authority will also conduct a financial assessment to determine
    whether you can afford to pay for care or if funding assistance is required.

If you are eligible for funding support, the local council will calculate the total cost of care and use a means assessment to determine the necessary contribution. This amount must be sufficient to cover the fees of at least one suitable care home.

The council will also inform you of their contribution towards the cost of care and arrange an appropriate.

NHS-Funded Care Home Options

There are two primary types of NHS funding available for care homes:

1. NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding

NHS Continuing Healthcare offers a care package arranged and funded by the NHS for individuals assessed as having a ‘primary health need.’ This package covers the complete cost of care and residential accommodations.

Adults in England with severe, complex, and unpredictable care requirements are eligible for this funding.

To determine your eligibility for NHS-funded care, you must undergo an assessment by a team of healthcare professionals. This process can be complicated, but Compass CHC, an organisation, provides free advice on NHS Continuing Healthcare.

For more information, visit Compass CHC website (Hyperlink) or call their helpline at 0121 227 8940

2. NHS Funded Nursing Care

NHS-funded nursing care covers nursing or medical expenses for individuals residing in a care home or nursing home. This care is provided by a registered nurse.

You or your loved one may qualify for NHS-funded nursing care if:

  • You are in a care home registered to provide nursing care
  • You do not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare
  • You have been assessed as requiring a registered nurse to adequately support your care needs
NHS-Funded Nursing Care Amounts by Region

The weekly financial assistance you or your loved one can receive depends on your location within the UK:

Region Rates of NHS-Funded Nursing Care
England £187.60 a week at the standard rate and £258.08 at the higher rate
Scotland £87.10 a week for nursing care and £193.50 a week for personal care - up to a total of £280.60 a week
Northern Ireland £179.97 a week
Wales £100 a week

Please note that these amounts may be subject to change, and it is essential to verify the current rates before making any decisions.

It is important to undergo an assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare prior to determining your eligibility for NHS Funded Nursing Care.

Saving Thresholds for Care Home Fees in the UK

The following saving thresholds for care home fees were in place for the UK in 2022/23:

Country Upper Threshold Lower Threshold
England £23,250 £14,250
Scotland £29,750 £18,500
Wales £50,000 N/A
Northern Ireland £23,250 £14,250

If you have income, pension, benefits, or savings, you may be able to cover care costs independently. In England and Northern Ireland, savings of £23,250 or more make you eligible for self-funded care, while the corresponding figures are £29,750 in Scotland and £50,000 in Wales.

In Wales, there is no lower limit; therefore, if a person’s savings and assets are valued below the £50,000 upper capital limit, they will receive maximum financial support from their local authority.

In England, with savings or assets between £14,250 and £23,250, you can partially contribute to your care fees, typically through your weekly income. Additionally, you will be required to pay an assumed extra income of £1 per week for every £250 of capital between these two amounts.

If your savings are below the lower threshold of £14,250, you will not have to pay for your care fees. However, you will likely need to use most of your weekly income from your pension, benefits, or savings.

If you are concerned about insufficient savings, don’t worry! Care Funding Choices have many options that can help you fund your shortfall in care costs. Contact us now to receive your personalised care funding choices report.

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