Cost of Care
One of the main concerns people have when looking at care, is the cost.
In England, our healthcare is free through the NHS, but our social care services usually require us to at least contribute towards the cost of care. We appreciate that there may be anxieties around how you will fund your care, which is why we want to help you to understand the options available.
The first step
The first step that you need to take, is to get a care needs assessment from your local council. To do this you can call the social services department of your council, or apply online.
Someone from the council will either call you, or come to your house to do the assessment. This assessment will help to work out:
- The level & type of care you require
- What your care package should include
- Where the most appropriate place for receiving your care is
They will want to know any difficulties you have in completing your day to day activities, and what impact your health condition has upon you.
They may also arrange a further assessment to see if you need any alterations to your home, or any equipment that will help with mobility, or keeping you safe.
It is always recommended to have a family member or friend with you during the assessment. If you don’t have someone who is able to be present at the assessment, your local authority should be able to provide you with an advocate.
The second step
If your care needs assessment has shown that you are eligible for support, the council will do a financial assessment (means test), to see if you are entitled to any help with paying for your care.
The means test will look at income, savings, investments and any property that you own.
There are usually three possible outcomes from the means test.
1. Your financial assessment has shown that you are entitled to have all of your care costs covered by your local authority.
2. Due to your financial situation, you will need to pay something towards your cost of care. The cost of your care will be shared between both your local authority and yourself.
3. If your savings and investments are more than £23,250* (in England) you will be expected to pay for all of your care and not receive any financial support from your local authority.
Fully funded home care from the local council
If the council are paying for all of your care costs, they will usually choose a home care provider for you, taking into account your preferences wherever possible. If you aren’t happy with the care you receive, you are entitled to ask to change to a different service provider.
Partially funded home care
If you are entitled to partially funded home care, the council can arrange your home care provider, or you can ask to receive Direct Payments into your bank account to arrange the care yourself. If you are receiving direct payments, the council will ask to see invoices from the care provider to prove that the money is being spent on care
If you will be funding your care yourself (either due to the means test or out of personal preference), then it will be up to you to choose your care provider. The council can still provide you with a list of recommended care services and can give you advice. They may also be able to arrange your care for you, but there is usually a fee for this service.
Benefits that can help with the cost of care
Unfortunately, we are unable to state our exact costs of care on our website, as every client is different – with needs and timings varying considerably. Once we have completed a free assessment of your needs, we will be able to give you a quote for your care. Our services are available to everyone, whether your care is being funded through the council, from direct payments, or on a private basis.
For your no obligations free assessment, please contact our team on 01908 380 600.
*This figure is as stated by gov.uk (August 2019).