Elderly care is a necessary part of life and something we should all plan for, in particular paying for care. If this is something you haven't yet planned, it is a great idea to start thinking about it now so that you have at least started to gather the necessary information. This is relevant whether you're looking at your own later life care, or the care of a relative; and whether you are looking at or considering moving into a residential care home.
Here are some key points to think about when planning the cost of elderly care:
If you're unsure of the level of care to cost up, consider getting a care needs assessment. This is only relevant if you're in need of care now, or in the near future, or your relative needs care imminently. It is a good thing to do to understand exactly how much care you might need because this will help you more accurately determine the .
If you, like many people, prefer the idea of home care to residential care, then you'll want to work out how much it costs first, before looking into care home fees. This kind of calculation will be formed by thinking about the care you will need and how often you will need it. Companionship and errand running is cheaper than say, 24./7 nursing care. The UK Care Guide suggests that home care can cost between £10 and £30 an hour, but it really does depend on the individual needs of the person being cared for as dedicated nursing does cost a lot more.
Your location in the UK will impact the about you pay for care if you opt for a residential care home. According to The UK Care Guide, the South East of the country sees higher costs compared to the North West.
When you have financial assets over £23,500 then you're unlikely to receive help paying for care. If your assets fall under £23,500 then you may well be entitled to some help with paying for care, but you have to get a financial assessment from your local authority to find out. As a general rule, your pension, savings and any benefits plus physical assets like your house all get taken into consideration. It is worth getting means tested before setting up private payment for care as care is very expensive and you could be entitled to help paying for it.
When thinking about covering the cost of elderly care, don't forget that you might be entitled to benefits such as a Carer's Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. These could all help make covering the cost of elderly care cheaper.
You might have to make difficult choices when thinking about covering the cost of elderly care. It may be that you need to lose some of your independence and have a family member come and care for you, but that is a better option compared to going into a residential home. There will be choices to be made, but ultimately you have a lot of support and advice to ensure you get the care you deserve.
Remember, if you feel overwhelmed by everything involved in covering the cost of care, speak to somebody about it. Speak to your social worker, your family, your friends, your doctor: anybody who you trust enough to give you sound advice or help you get it. Your future will be better if you plan ahead.