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Select Healthcare Group News


August 28th 2018

A loved one requiring the services of a nursing care home or residential home is often a trying time; the last thing relatives want to be stressed about is how they will conjure up the funds for paying for care, especially with the ever increasing care home costs.

The cost of a care home varies largely dependent on the intensity of the level of care the resident requires and also whether they reside in a shared on single room. The average care home costs for residential homes are significantly lower than that of a nursing care home since the care level required is substantially lower and those with dementia require the highest level of care and security, thus making dementia care home costs the most expensive.

In 2017, the average cost of a room in a residential home was £600, whereas the average cost of a nursing home was a little steeper at £841. The location of the residential, nursing or dementia care home is also factored into the costs, with the South of England generally having the highest average care home costs and the North or England or Northern Ireland with the lowest.

The region with the most expensive residential care is Greater London at £741 per week and the average cheapest residential care per week was found in Northern Ireland at £516.

On the other hand, the region with the most expensive nursing care per week, by average, was South East at £1,041 per week. In contrast to this, the region with the cheapest average costs of nursing care homes per week was the North East at £666.

Based on the fact that individuals in residential or nursing care homes spend an average of two years within the home, the total cost of care across these two years reaches an average high of £87,000, which is daunting for residents, family and friends to say the least.

However, there are a number of options regarding care home funding and help with paying for care home fees, including help from the government and your local authorities.

Local Authority Funded Care

Social services care home funding in the UK is offered to those who have has a needs assessment, a financial assessment and the local authorities have deemed their financial situation eligible for care home funding.

The local authorities take income, saving and assets into account when completing a needs assessment and care home funding limits are in place to determine if you will receive some, all or no care home finance.

If your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250, you will receive partial funding and only if your capital is LESS than £14,250 will you receive maximum care home funding. In all cases, if your relative owns their own property this will also be taken into consideration, unless they have a spouse, partner or civil partner still living in the home.

If the local authorities are funding care home fees, you will be provided with a small list of care homes which have places available, can cater to your relatives care requirements and which the authorities can comfortably fund. However, if your relative has needs that require levels of care which exceeds their standard rate, the council are obliged to pay the extra so that your relative has sufficient care.

The same applies for paying for care for dementia patients, in that councils will usually pay above their standard rate to make sure your relative is in a specialist dementia care home that has the facilities to not only look after your relative, but to keep them as safe as possible.

Third-Party Top-Up Fees

A third-party top-up fee is the cost difference between the amount your local authorities are willing to put towards care home funding and the fee that your chosen care home charges to self-funding care home patients.

As previously mentioned, when the local authorities are paying for residential care for your relative, you will have to choose from a list of pre-approved care homes.

However, there are a number of reasons why you might want free reign to choose any care home that you would prefer. For example, you might want a location closer to friends and family, a more comfortable environment, a larger room etc.  In these circumstances your relative will have to find funding for the difference in care home costs themselves.

Third-party top ups are often paid by friends, family or charitable organisations in some cases, although, there is no obligation for anybody to fund third-party top ups, it is usually done out of generosity.

The kind third-party payer must illustrate that they are able to comfortably fund the difference between the local authority’s funding and the chosen care homes standard fees and they must sign a written contract with the local authority to prove their willingness to pay these top-up fees for as long as necessary.

The payers of the third-party top-up fees must also be made aware of increasing care home fees that commonly occur annually.

Self-Funding Care

Of all of the people living in residential and nursing care homes, approximately 40% of resident’s fully-fund the care themselves. This is known as self-funding care.

Your local authorities will initially carry out a needs assessment, closely followed by a financial assessment to determine if you, or your relative, need to self-fund yours or their own care home fees.

In the UK and Northern Ireland, if the care receiver has capital of more than £23,250 they won’t be eligible for local authority funding and will responsible for paying for residential care themselves. The threshold for local authority funding in Scotland is £26,250 and £40,000 in Wales.

Self-funding care home fees does however mean that you will have full control over the care home your relative will be placed into, one benefit that many are pleased with. Although, if you do need assistance in choosing a care home your local authority should be able to help.

If your relative is responsible for paying for elderly care, ensuring they are receiving every benefit they are entitled to is a way to help alleviate some of the tensions that may arise when paying for private care home costs, this could be ‘pension credit’ or ‘attendance allowance.’

If you are looking for a comfortable and homely residential care home for a relative or loved one, look no further than Select Healthcare. We are leading provider of care across the country and we place a strong emphasis on the comfort and well-being of every resident. 

For more information on any of our residential care homes, please call us today and we will be happy to talk you through our availability, services and costings. 

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