How are care home places funded?
How someone’s care home place is funded depends on their care needs as well as the savings and assets they have.
Care home places are either fully-funded or part-funded by:
- the individual needing care. The individual may need to cover the cost of their care home place completely or contribute towards the costs
- their local authority. The authority may completely fund the costs at an agreed rate, or contribute towards the costs of the person living in the care home
- the NHS. There are two types of NHS funding if the person is assessed as needing nursing care. These are Continuing Healthcare funding — which covers the complete cost of care, or Funded Nursing Care contribution (FNC) — which is a contribution towards the cost of nursing care.
Whilst we have outlined some suggestions below, about where to begin when it comes to funding, if your relative or friend needs care urgently please don’t hesitate to contact us now – your local care home details can be found here.
We will then be able to provide support, talk through your options and help to move through the process as quickly as possible.
Residential Care (including residential dementia care)
If you believe your friend or relative needs residential care, we would recommend you contact the person’s adult social services team at the relevant local authority. Start by explaining the situation and requesting a care needs assessment.
They will be able to advise on whether your friend or relative may be eligible for a contribution towards, or funding for, the complete cost of their care home placement.
If the person needs to fund the cost of living in a care home themselves, we would recommend speaking to an independent financial advisor.
The Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA) provides accreditation to financial advisors who are specifically trained and qualified to give advice on later life funding. To find your nearest SOLLA accredited financial advisor click here.
Nursing Care (including nursing dementia care)
If the person may need nursing care as opposed to residential care, then they should be assessed when they are ready to be discharged from hospital or, if they haven’t been in hospital, at the time they need to move into a care home.
If they are assessed as needing nursing care, then they should be eligible for either Continuing Healthcare funding (which covers the complete cost of nursing care in a care home) or Funded Nursing Care contribution (FNC) — which is a weekly contribution towards the cost.
Is there any other financial help available?
Attendance Allowance is a non-means tested, tax-free state benefit which is payable to all those over the age of 65 who have a long-term illness or disability.
The weekly amount varies depending on whether someone needs help either during the day or at night; or if they need help during both the day and night.
It can continue to be paid while your relative or friend is living in a care home, provided they are paying for the care themselves and are not funded by the local authority.
What happens if the money runs out?
If someone is funding their own care, and their savings fall below the amount set by government, the local authority has an obligation to fund all or some of the care fees, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
However, the local authority will have a maximum amount that they are prepared to pay, and any shortfall in fees may need to be funded by a family member or friend, known as a ‘third party contribution.’
What happens next?
We understand you might be unsure about what to do next, uncertain about your options and where to go from here. The care sector can be confusing to navigate and, combined with a wide range of different emotions and pressure to find a solution, it can be difficult to know where to turn.
This is why we pride ourselves on being there to provide help and support to residents as well as their families, friends, and advocates.
Contact a member of our team at your local care home, which you can find details about on our search here, and we can have a chat about your personal circumstances and whether a care home is likely to be the right choice.
We’re here to help.