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Care Home Fees: What do I need to know?

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A resident sat in an arm chair reading a book
One of the biggest considerations when moving into a care home is the cost. It can be challenging trying to understand the different funding options, the different models of care offered and what is included in your fees. We’ve caught up with Rachel McIlroy, Chief Financial Officer here at the Brendoncare Foundation, to answer the most frequently asked questions.

When will I need to pay my own care home fees?

In most cases residents are responsible for paying their own fees. However, if your “capital” is valued under £23,250 then your local authority will provide assistance. Capital means your house, savings and any investments you have. 

If your spouse still lives in your home this is “disregarded” when calculating your capital balance. Any joint accounts will be split 50:50.

Many care homes will not accept the rates paid by local authorities and may request a top-up from the family to accept the admission.

What happens if my property is my only asset I own when I need to move into a care home and it will take time to release funds from it?

You can speak to the care home and they will be able to advise you about their policy. You can also speak to your local authority about the 12 week property disregard scheme where social services will fund your fees while you sell your home. You may still need to pay a top up if the local authority only pays at their rate.

What if I don't want to sell my house?

You may be eligible for a deferred payments scheme. This is where the local authority pays your fees and takes a charge on your house. They will charge you interest. All local authorities operate the scheme slightly differently so you will need to contact them directly to find out your local authorities specific terms and conditions.

 

When will the NHS pay for care home fees?

If you have complex health needs then the NHS will meet your care home fees. This funding is known as Continuing HealthCare (CHC) and is not means tested. There are very strict criteria and most nursing home residents are not eligible. There is more guidance on the NHS website.

Are there any allowances I can claim to help with fees?

If you have less complex nursing needs you may be eligible for the NHS funded nursing contribution (FNC). This is not means tested and is around £158 a week.

It may take some time to apply for this as the NHS will need to carry out an assessment but the care home should be able to help. This contribution will be paid direct to the home. At Brendoncare we deduct this from your fees after we receive it.

If you are paying your own fees make sure you claim attendance allowance – this is not means tested and most care home residents are eligible. The rate depends on your needs but you can get between £57-£85 a week. Guidance can be found on Age UK.

What does the care home fee cover?

The fee should cover your accommodation costs, meals and essential care. Before you choose a home, check out what extras are chargeable. For example, hairdressing, physiotherapy and chiropody are often charged on top of fees. 

What should I do with the money after selling my house?

We would recommend that you consult an independent financial advisor about investments and how to keep them secure, especially if you have sold property. They can give you advice on how to invest any cash from property sales.

The Society of Later Life Advisers can provide you with a list of advisers.

What makes Brendoncare different?

As a charity, one of our founding principles is to provide peace of mind to residents and their families, particularly in relation to the affordability of quality care.

That principle remains true today and our ‘Care for Life’ promise ensures that once an individual is welcomed in to one of our homes they will never have to leave because of a change in financial circumstances.

For more information, please get in touch with our Customer Relations Team on 0300 303 4866 or email homes@brendoncare.org.uk

Other useful sites

You can also visit our website and take a look at our ‘Paying for care’ page, or more comprehensive information is available from the charities Age UK or Independent Age.

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