1. Know the real costs and what you might be able to get local authority help with.
Before you start speaking to providers of elderly care services it is helpful to have a general understanding of what care usually costs and what parts you can sometimes get for free. Check out our home care costs here. Remember the family solicitor or financial adviser will not always know the answers to this question.
The ‘all care is free’ idea is a myth inadvertently perpetrated by the media and the government which is highly misleading to so many families, this is the number one frustration we encounter when working with families.
Generalising to keep things simple:
Cost around £1200 to £3000 per week. Care homes vary in price depending on quality and location. At the higher end would typically be a care home which only accepts self-funding clients and does not sell any of its rooms to local authorities.
The costs associated with care home should be split into 3 categories:
- The hotel costs (around 70% of the costs). These costs are only paid by the local authority if the resident has assets less than £32,750. As such, these days that does not apply to very many people, particularly if they own their own house.
- The personal care (around 20% of the costs). In Scotland, these costs are always paid for by the local authority regardless of someone’s wealth. These costs are not paid for in England though, hence the political calls for ‘capping care fees’.
- The nursing care (10% of the costs). This is paid for through the NHS budget and covers the medical components of care like injections, administration of medications and care aspects requiring fully qualified nurses.
If the state is paying for your care, you will have to accept whatever they provide. If you are self-funding then there is a whole world of options out there. Never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot have when you are paying for it yourself.
Care at Home
Cost around £28 – £40 per hour (depending on need)
The costs associated with care at home is also more easily understood if split into two categories:
- The personal care (around 25% of the costs). The costs connected to this aspect of care at home can sometimes be reclaimed from the local authority in the form of the direct payment or you can opt for the council to deliver this service to you. Personal care includes help getting washed and dressed and basic medication support.
- The socialisation, getting out and about and household tasks (75% of the costs). Most often this is the part that family and friends take care of, but for someone who does not have loved ones able to assist in these areas, they may need a lot of support. This area is vital when it comes to caring for those with Dementia.
The costs associated with care at home are so variable as you only need to pay for what you need.