With around 3 million elderly people in the UK who receive care at home, it is not surprising that there are many common misconceptions around the cost of elderly care.
Elderly care is free
Care services in the UK are not usually free. Only those on a very low income will not have to pay. People who can’t afford to pay the whole cost of their elderly social care will pay a weekly contribution and their local authority will pay the rest. Anyone with capital of over £23,350 will need to find their own social care in their later years. See the ‘who pays for what’ section below to understand the difference between social care and healthcare. However, paying for your own care is not a bad thing, it gives you choice and control over your arrangements.
If I run out of money the government will pay
By not planning for your care and running out of money, you are limiting your care choices. You might find that your local authority gives you limited or no choice as to where or how you receive care. Your local authority has a statutory responsibility to identify what are called ‘eligible’ needs, but if your care needs do not meet their eligibility criteria, they are not obliged to pay for your care.
I can gift my money to my loved ones and get government social care
By doing this you may be believed to have undergone a ‘deliberate deprivation of assets’. If you are suspected of gifting or disposing of your assets to avoid paying for care, your local authority can investigate this action, and if found guilty they will assess your eligibility for financial support based on the amount that you would have paid for your care if you had not given those assets away.
Care means living in a care home
Not at all! There are approximately 3.5 million over-65’s who need some form of care or support and only around half a million of these people are living in care homes. Therefore, there are around 3 million people in the UK who receive care at home. Here at Bright Care we believe at-home care is best. Contact us today to discuss your or your loved one’s care needs.
Care in my own home will be more expensive than residential care
Residential homes and in-home care are two very different options and the choice should be what is best for the individual. Ideally, choosing elderly care shouldn’t be about finding the cheapest option, but the best option for each person. There are many benefits to choosing care at home.
If I am unable to make decisions around my care, my next of kin will automatically do it for me
You need to establish an official legal Power of Attorney, that way your spouse, partner or children will be able to fulfil your wishes or make decisions on your behalf.
I will need to sell my home to pay for care
The rules concerning property and care are lengthy and complex, but it’s important to understand that if you or a dependant (including a spouse, civil partner, dependent children or a dependent relative with a disability) are still living in the property, then its value will be disregarded by the local authority when they assess your ability to pay for your elderly social care. However, this is only a relevant consideration if you wish to place yourself in the hands of the local authority to sort out your care arrangements. If you have your own means and/or wish to pay yourself in exchange for choice and control, then you may wish to tap into the equity you have in your home to pay for care either by using an equity release product or downsizing.
There is no one who can give me free help and advice
Here at Bright Care, we are experts in elderly care. You can call our team of experts for free help and unbiased advice on all matters relating to receiving elderly care.
Click here for more information on some of the myths around elderly care.
Who pays for what
NHS Continuing Healthcare funding covers the cost of an individual’s care in its entirety if the care required is established to be primarily a healthcare need and not a social care need.
Social Care and support from your local authority is not free for everyone. If you need care as you get older, you are likely to have to pay at least some of the cost. See point seven above.
To find out more about the difference between healthcare and social care, visit the Care To Be Different website.
Get in touch
Our expert Bright Care team would be delighted to answer any questions you have about the cost of care at home. Contact us today.