5 ways to fund care home fees for elderly relatives
If a loved one becomes ill or unable to look after themselves finding the money to pay and fund for their care can be an upsetting and daunting process.
It’s important to remember that there are plenty of services out there that can support you through the process by offering help, advice and funding – you’re not on your own! Here are five different avenues to explore when looking for help with funding care home fees.
Local authority funding
If your relative’s health is deteriorating then you can request a health assessment from your local authority. If the results of the assessment deem the person in need of care then your local authority will be able to tell you the maximum amount that they are able to contribute per week towards this care. The individual will then be financially assessed before a final funding figure is given, their capital must be below £23,250 in order for them to be eligible for funding from the local authority.
NHS continuing care
If your relative’s health deteriorates significantly and their need for care is deemed to be very high then you may be eligible to have all of their care costs paid by the NHS rather than your local authority.
There are a number of benefits that could be used to help pay for the cost of care your relative. Different benefits will be available to different people depending on their circumstances.
– Registered Nursing Care Contribution
This benefit is available to people in nursing homes rather than residential homes and is usually paid directly to the nursing home rather than the individual. It is not a means-tested benefit and so is available to self-funders as well as people receiving funding from the local authority.
– Attendance Allowance
If you are paying for care costs primarily by self-funding then you may also be eligible to Attendance Allowance which can be worth up to £73.60 a week.
– Housing/Council Tax Benefit
If your relative has moved into care permanently then they won’t be able to claim these benefits, however if they’re just in respite care then they will still be eligible to Housing and Council Tax Benefits.
Long-term care annuity
Long-term care annuities can be a very expensive option but they will give you the guarantee that a fixed tax-free amount will be paid directly to the nursing home for life. They also guarantee that a person’s capital won’t run out so there will be no need to ever fall back on local authority funding.
Of course some people may be able to afford to fund their own care home costs with savings or money from the sale of a property. Even if you are confident that your relative will be able to fund their own care home costs it is still important to seek help to find out if they are eligible to other financial help towards the costs.
For more information on ways to help fund for care homes, check out this article by Which.co.uk: Paying for a care home – Which?