When deciding how to fund the care, it is worth noting that the cap is only limited to the actual care and does not include fees or meals. It is also normal for local authorities to NOT provide cover for the total charge in the Care Home of your choice. If you are choosing your own Care Home, you must pay the difference and this will not count towards the cap.

Will we need to sell the family home?

Not always. Local authorities can put a legal charge on the house so the fees are taken from the estate when the property is eventually sold. This will affect inheritance and interest is charged on this.

As people are living longer and healthier lives, those requiring care over the age of 80 often have children close to retirement. As they aren't wholly dependant upon inheritance, people are likely to use assets built up throughout their life to live well through retirement, and for care in later life.

The main issue with selling the home is that the funds can soon deplete if care is required for a substantial length of time. If capital is reduced below the relevant threshold, the local authority will fund the future care fees, but may mean the individual must move if the fees charged exceed local authority limits. Call LCS now whilst you are still fit and healthy to discuss your options.

Health and financial assessments

If requested, local authorities will carry out a health assessment to assess needs and, whether an individual can do "normal" daily tasks such as wash and dress themselves. Finances and the individual's ability to pay will also be assessed. It will be the person going into care that will be assessed, not the family.

The assessment considers two things; their capital and their income. Under the current system, those with assets of over £23,250, no help is offered from the state. In April 2020, this threshold will raise to £118,000 and anyone with assets between £17,000 and £118,000 who meets the criteria, will be entitled to support.

If there is someone living in the home (spouse, relative over 60, or other dependant), it won't be considered and the threshold will stay at £23,250.

Nursing Care costs

Help is also available for Nursing care costs and if your needs are vast, you could qualify for Continuing Care funding; the NHS will pay the costs in full. This does rely on the Nursing Home falling within the agreed NHS rate and if the home costs more, a top up will need to be paid.

How much do Care Homes cost? (Figures supplied by Laing and Buisson)

Care costs differ depending on where you live and what time of day/week you require support. A few things you may need to consider are:

  • Allow roughly £15 per hour
  • Full-time day care starts at £30,000 per year
  • 24-hour care can cost more than £150,000 per year
  • You will still have the cost of maintaining your home

Pros and cons of Home Care

Pros

  • Regular visits from a care worker
  • Meals on wheels, personal alarms, help with shopping
  • Transport available to help you continue socialising at local day centres
  • You stay in your home
  • Retain social contact with friends and family
  • The value of your home isn't considered in any assessment
  • You stay in familiar surroundings
  • Keep full control over support you receive

Cons

  • You may be lonely
  • You may still be at risk
  • Home modifications can negatively affect the value of your home
  • You may not be comfortable with carers coming into your home

Residential Care

The cost of Residential care can rely on which part of the country you reside and averages at roughly £29,270 per year.

Nursing Care

The average cost for individuals needing Nursing care is £39,300 per year. Again, this will depend on where you live.

Pros and cons of a Care Home

Pros

  • Trained staff are always available
  • You have company
  • Organised activities
  • No stress of household bills or meals
  • They're safe and secure

Cons

  • It may be expensive
  • You will only have one room
  • You may feel like you've lost independence
  • Pets aren't always allowed
  • You may not get on with other residents

To gain a full picture of what's included in the care-home fees, ensure you read the home's terms and conditions as you may still have to pay for trips, hairdressing and some forms of therapy.