Funding for care at home vs a care home

Once you have decided which option for elderly care is right for you, you need to look into how you can pay for your care.

Live in care is an attractive choice for those that wish to retain their independence and live in the familiarity of their own home, but electing to have live-in care in your home will usually mean you will have to find the money to pay for it by yourself. Those carers who choose live in care jobs are motivated not by the pay but by being able to provide a more personalised level of care. Nevertheless there is, obviously a cost to having a carer living in your home.

It depends on your needs

The actual cost for home care services varies depending on your needs; some people may need relatively low-level support with maintaining their home, others may have complex medical conditions that require more intensive care.  The cost of live-in care will be somewhere between £500 and £1500 per week – the more care you will require, the higher the cost. You will also need to provide the live-in carer with their own room and internet access.  Care home companies will arrange everything you will need and match you up with a live-in carer that best suits you and your needs.

If you decide that a residential care home is the best option, this is also likely to require self-funding. Residential care homes can be expensive – especially if you expect to be there for some time. If you have a spouse, couples will have to pay per person at the care home making it an even more costly option.

And where you live

Residential care home fees fluctuate depending on where in the UK the home is situated. Elderly people living in the South East will be paying significantly more for their care than those in the North East. The average cost for a care home in London is £723 per week, compared to £530 per week in Yorkshire.

There is some level of local authority funding available to those who have little or no savings, and assets of less than £23,250, but many companies providing live-in care do not accept social services funded clients. An NHS bursary known as NHS Continuing Healthcare is available to cover medical care. This bursary is a way of helping patients fund their care so they are not ‘bed blocking’ in hospitals. Your local authority can also do an assessment of your social care needs and provide advice on your options. In order to assess whether you qualify for funding assistance, all of your assets will be taken into consideration. Assets include the value of your property, the value of any private or state pensions, and the value of any savings including interest.

Plan carefully

If you will be self-funding your care, it is essential to have budgets in place to ensure your care is uninterrupted and maintained at the level you require. Getting advice from an Independent Financial Advisor can help you gain the best level of care for the budget you have. As people are living longer, your elderly care plan could be in place for some time, and you should not have to compromise on the level of care you need.