When we were building our new Later Life Care website, we did a lot of research to ensure it would be as helpful as possible. Do you have an experience of arranging care in a care home to share?
The insight that we gained from our research into different areas surrounding making care choices showed us that the following important issues around paying for care are commonly misunderstood.
- If I move into a care home, do I have to sell my home?
You don’t have to sell your home, even if it’s included in the financial assessment. For example, you might have a relative living there or you may be able to find other ways to pay for care.
You could consider renting out your house as long as you’re confident that will bring in sufficient income to cover any care funding shortfall. You should think through what you would do if the property wasn’t let for any length of time.
You could also consider taking out an immediate needs annuity, which you can buy through a specialist independent financial adviser, who should hold a CF8 qualification.
If you end up having to sell your home to pay for care home fees and it isn’t selling, you can request a long-term loan known as a deferred payment agreement from your local council (Northern Ireland excepted).
- Is Attendance Allowance means tested?
No, it’s not. Attendance Allowance is a government benefit that is available to people who are more than 65 years old and who, due to an illness or disability, would benefit from help with washing, dressing or eating, during the day or overnight.
If you are receiving attendance allowance and living in a care home, you will continue to receive it while you are paying for your room.
- Can a care home legitimately ask a third party, such as a family member, to pay top-up fees in addition to what the local authority is paying?
It can’t. Third-party top-up fees should be voluntarily suggested: a local authority or care home can’t ask the resident or a family member or friend of that resident to pay additional fees if a room is being funded by a local authority.
- If I’m paying for my care and I run out of money, will a family member or friend have to continue to pay the fees?
If you are a self-funder, the local authority will start contributing towards your care fees once your total capital of £23,250 (in England and Northern Ireland; £27,250 in Scotland) is reached.
It will pay all fees once your total capital of £14,250 (in England and Northern Ireland; £17,000 in Scotland) is reached. In Wales, there is one threshold of £40,000.
What’s your experience?
Because we have such a complicated social care system perhaps it’s no surprise that there are so many misunderstandings around this important issue.
Have you had any experience of arranging care in a care home? What was your experience of navigating the system?