How Your Personal Finances Influence Elderly Care Choices

Your personal financial situation will have a major impact on your care options; the type of care you can afford if you are paying for it yourself and the choice of care if it is being paid for by the government. Whether you need to self-finance your care or not depends on your existing assets and savings and whether they exceed a particular threshold which can change from time to time.

Help With The Cost Of Elderly Care

Getting financial help towards the cost of care is something everyone should look into before considering their care options. Care is very expensive whether you opt for a residential care home, home care services or live in care where a carer lives in your home. All of these options are expensive and there is no such thing as budget elderly care, irrespective of who is paying for it – you or the government. So if you are wondering about the cost of elderly care it pays to be well-informed.

According to the current regulations in the UK if you have assets below £23,250 then you are entitled to some help with care costs. If you have savings or other assets (like shares) over that threshold then you will not be entitled to any financial help. An assessment will also review your pension income and any state benefits such as Disability Allowance or Attendance Allowance.

However, be aware that if you initially have to pay for your own elderly care but at some point your assets become lower than the threshold amount then you will become entitled to state help. This is of particular importance to those whose assets are only a small amount over the threshold. 

Also be aware that if you have a continuing care need because of certain medical conditions then the National Health Service may fund all of your care regardless of any assets and savings you may have. If you think you might fall into this category talk to your doctor or social worker so that a formal care evaluation can be carried out. 

Different Levels of Financial Support

For those with assets less than the current threshold there are varying levels of financial support available from the government for your elderly care costs. At the time of writing (2017) if you have less than £14,250 (the lower threshold) in assets and savings then you will receive the maximum amount of financial support for your elderly care needs. However, this means that all the income your currently receive either as benefits or as a pension will go to the local authority to contribute towards your care costs, apart from a small personal expense allowance. For those with assets below the higher threshold but above the higher threshold then you will have to make a financial contribution towards your care that will be decided based on your personal circumstances. 

What About The Value of My Home?

The value of your main residence will be taken into account in determining whether your assets exceed the threshold if you live there alone. However, if an eligible family member or your partner live there then it’s value is excluded from the calculation.