With the average annual cost of a care home somewhere around £27,500 (and considerably more in London and the South East), it is no surprise that people worry about the financial repercussions of moving a relative into a care home. The decision to make the move should not be rushed into as it will not only be a massive move for the person in question but effect friends and family members who will want to visit on a regular visit. As well as talking it over amongst yourselves, it is wise to get advice from professionals, people who have gone through similar situations as well as charity organisations who provide such services. The care provider Extra Care offer assistance with financial matters and how to pay the fees needed. Paying for care can be complicated business – knowing whether you are eligible for help from the government, and understanding how easily you can afford the fees can be daunting. Here are some considerations for you to think about.
Help from all the family
Sharing the financial burden between the family may be an option. It is natural to feel uneasy about broaching the subject but try and remember that it is often others’ responsibility as much as your own and most people will be happy to help. The more people who can contribute, the less money individuals will have to pay.
Selling a property such as the home of the person entering the home is probably the most sensible way to pay the care bills. It is obviously another decision which should not be taken lightly and you may want to consider options such as renting the house, perhaps even to a family member, first. This is a good way of keeping the property in the family whilst raising the money needed.
Undergoing a means test with your local authority may result in you being eligible for financial support. In England, there is a savings threshold of £23,250 for which if you fall under you can receive care benefits. In Wales, the figure is £22,000, and it is £24,750 and £23,250 in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. If your savings exceed the specified amount you will have to pay for your own care. However, there are other types of benefits available so it may be worth contacting your local authority anyway to find out your entitlements.
The NHS has various resources which offer help and support when thinking about care options. Their continuing healthcare page has a wealth of information. You will also find lots of valuable info on the government website. The charity Age UK is a great website for all kinds of aspects of elderly care.