5 Steps to Choosing, Finding and Funding a Care Home
Step 1 of 5 – Types of Homes Available
Types of Care provided by Care Homes
- Personal Hygiene, including help with washing, bathing, shaving, oral hygiene and nail care.
- Continence management, including assistance with toileting, skin care, incontinence laundry and bed changing.
- Food and Diet, including preparation of food and fulfilment of dietary requirements and assistance eating.
- Counselling and support, including behaviour management, psychological support and reminding devices.
- Simple treatments, including assistance with medication (including eye drops), applications of simple dressings, lotions and creams and oxygen therapy.
- Personal assistance, including help with dressing, surgical appliances, mechanical or manual aids, assistance getting up or going to bed.
Types of Care provided by Care Homes with Nursing
Depending on the registration of the home, they can provide:
- Personal Care and assistance with daily tasks, including washing, dressing eating
- 24-hour nursing care services as prescribed by physicians.
- Rehabilitation services, including, Orthopaedic rehabilitation and stroke recovery
- Therapies including: Physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech therapy, respiratory therapy, and pain therapy;
- Specialty care, including Alzheimer's treatment, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Developmentally disabled, Dementia, Head trauma, Haematology conditions, Mental disease, Neurological diseases, Neuromuscular diseases, Pulmonary disease, Para/quadriplegic impairments, Trauma, Wound care
Step 2 of 5 – Will I have to pay for care home charges?
Commission for Social Care Inspection -
'A Fair Contract For Older People.'
'People who are expected to pay for their own care are particularly disadvantaged by a lack of information, support and advice at every stage in making a decision about going into a care home.'
State funding of care home fees is possible. Whether you are entitled to it all depends on the amount of money you have in the form of savings and investments.
The system consists of two thresholds - the upper and lower. The way it works is as follows:
- people who have more than the upper threshold in savings and investments are expected to pay for all their care fees themselves
- there is a sliding scale of state contribution for people who have between the lower and upper threshold in savings and investments
- people who have less than the threshold will receive state funding
The various thresholds differ around the country:
- In England and Northern Ireland the upper is £23,250, in Wales it is £22,500 and in Scotland it is £23,500
- In England and Northern Ireland the lower threshold is £14,250, in Wales it is £22,500 and in Scotland it is £14,500
If you own your own home, the value of this property is included in the calculation. There are some exceptions - one being if a partner is still living in the property.
The local authority will carry out a needs assessment and a financial assessment.
If the criteria for the local authority to pay are met, they will agree to pay, subject to the funds being available. How much they pay depends on the type of care required and the setting. The amount paid wall varying from one local authority to another in accordance with their budgetary constraints.
What it can cost if you have to pay for the care home fees yourself
The costs can vary greatly depending on the location of the care home and the level of care provided. As a very general guide care homes fees can be between £350-£900 a week and care homes with nursing can cost anywhere between £550 and £1,100 per week.
Will I have to sell my home to pay for care home charges?
If you own your own home and you move into a residential care home permanently, the local authority will ignore the value of your home for the first 12 weeks of your stay. (See information regarding the 12 week property disregard below) After that, they will usually include the value of your home when working out whether you have to pay care home fees. This means that you will be expected to sell your home to pay the fees.
In certain situations, the local authority will not include the value of your home when working out whether you have to pay fees. They will ignore the value of your home if any of the following people are living in it:
- your partner or your former partner
- a relative who is aged over 60
- a relative who is incapacitated, for example, someone with a disability
- a relative who is responsible for a child aged under 16.
The local authority can also choose to ignore the value of your home if they think it is reasonable to do so, for example, if you have another relative living at home who does not fit into any of the above categories.
The 12 week property disregard
There is a twelve week window between going into residential care and the sale of your house.
This means that, for that period, the value of the home is disregarded from the financial assessment. This funding does not have to be repaid to the local authority. If the property is still not sold after that time, repayment of the fees beyond that point may be paid back by way of a deferred payment scheme.
The NHS can fund the nursing care element of any care home fees. A nurse will assess the level of nursing care a person needs. The level of funding available for this varies across the country.
The financial assessment
Before moving into a care home your local council will conduct a detailed financial assessment. It is a means tested system and they will look at your income and capital and decide how much you need to pay towards your care home fees.
Fees will be worked out as if you're receiving all relevant benefits, so make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.
Note that no matter how much you have to pay towards your care home fees, you must be left with a certain amount a week to spend as you choose.
You will usually have the needs assessment before the financial assessment.
You can choose your care home but if the one you opt for charges more than your local council usually pays for a person with your assessed needs, you may need to find a way to pay the difference.
Nursing care funded by the National Health Service
If you live in a care home with nursing care, the NHS would normally contribute a certain amount per week towards the fees to cover the cost of the nursing element.
Some people have all their care home fees paid for by the NHS - this is called continuing health care. People who need ongoing, specialist care should qualify for this kind of financial help, although it is sometimes a postcode lottery.
Because a number of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) chose to implement the rules and regulations, sometimes incorrectly, many of the 170,000 people in England and Wales who are paying their own fees have been denied funding unfairly.
Step 3 of 5 – What if I need nursing care?
Step 4 of 5 - Should I consider a Live in Carer?
Care Nursing Homes UK offers a professional and comprehensive companionship and personal care service. Their clients are provided with the choice and opportunity to live fulfilled dignified and independent lives within the comfort and security of their own homes.
There may be many reasons why you are looking at care options. You may be looking for yourself or on behalf of a friend or relative, because a little support is needed with those tasks that are becoming more difficult, or because of restricted mobility through illness or an accident. We know that often this can be an emotional and difficult time and are here to ease the transition and acknowledgement that permanent care is needed.
Live-in care is a care service that provides security and peace of mind through the support and assistance of a carer living and staying with you on an ongoing basis in your house. A direct alternative to a care home this means you can remain in the comfort and familiarity of your home without compromising the level of care and support received.
Live-in care can support you in removing some of the worry and responsibility of having to care and fend for yourself and your home. It leaves you free to relax and enjoy life, safe in the comfort of knowing that everything is taken care of.
By looking at your specific needs we can match your requirements with the skill sets and characters of our carers. It is important to us that you are totally comfortable with the carer, both personally and professionally. This means that you can have the lifestyle you choose.