Care Home Considerations

As individuals age, the need for long-term care becomes more common. Residential and nursing care homes offer a supportive environment for elderly individuals who require assistance with daily living activities. However, the cost of this care can be significant, and it isn’t always clear who is liable. In this guide, we’ll discuss the financial support available for individuals considering going into a care home, the different types of care available, and the criteria you or your loved one may need to meet.

Financial Support Available

The cost of care homes can vary widely depending on the level of care required, the location, and other factors. In some cases, the cost of care will be covered by the local authority, while in other cases, individuals or their families will need to pay for care out of pocket.

In the UK, funding is available for those with eligible needs who have less than £23,250 in savings and assets. If a social care assessment shows someone’s needs are high enough to require a care home, they will be offered a financial assessment to deem whether they need to pay for some, none or all of their care costs. You do not have to accept a financial assessment; in this case you will need to fund your care in full.

Income and Savings

The amount of financial support given is impacted by an individual’s income and savings. Individuals with higher income will need to contribute more than those on a low income or benefits. If their savings are over the financial threshold they will need to pay for their care costs in full until they fall below. Usually property and other assets will be included in this figure. Given the average cost of a care home in the UK is over £3000 a month individuals may need to rent or sell their home to release funds.

If you accept local authority funding you may not have a wide choice of care homes to choose from. Usually there is a limit on how much a local authority will pay for a placement and not all care homes will accept this rate. If your family is able and willing, they may be able to ‘top up’ your care costs to enable you to live in a care home of your choosing.

Legal Implications

It is not acceptable to transfer assets in order to qualify for local authority funding. If they suspect a person has given away or undersold their assets they may refuse to contribute towards care home costs. If you believe you will need to move into a care home in the future it would be wise to discuss any large gifts or asset transfers with a solicitor to ensure it won’t affect you negatively in the future.

In order to access local authority funding, an individual will first need a social care assessment. You can contact your local authority’s adult helpdesk to request an assessment for yourself or a loved one, or if you will be self-funding you can contact a care home directly to discuss their vacancies and your eligibility.


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