The NHS has admitted that it will pay out over £250 million in back dated care cost claims in the next 12 months. Farley Dwek provided the BBC with the story of our client Christopher Andrews who, along with thousands more families, is experiencing severe delays in recovering unfairly paid care home fees. See the full BBC story here or read Mr Andrews full case study on our website
Good health is never certain. An illness may be suddenly cast upon a family member and require that you or a loved one needs care in a nursing home. As such, it is important to have an understanding of typical nursing home costs and fees. With knowledge of the approximate cost of nursing care you will be able to plan ahead and avoid possible financial difficulties later on.
Who should stay in a nursing home?
Nursing homes provide more extensive care than residential care homes. The latter are registered institutions that give basic personal medical care to patients, including providing medication, washing and dressing. On the other hand, nursing homes are armed with staff and equipment necessary to provide nursing or medical care a patient needs on a 24/7 basis. That means that a registered nurse will be available on a 24-hour basis to cater to your care. If you or a loved one requires extensive care then a nursing home may be the only choice to do the right thing.
In its 2014 survey, Laing & Buisson (a UK leading resource for information on healthcare) said that the average cost for nursing home care is at approximately £728 per week (£37,856 annually). It’s important to note that the government has not set a standard fee for nursing home care, therefore you should expect fees to be higher than this.
Factors affecting nursing home costs
There are several factors that may determine nursing home fees. The location, for instance, may play a significant role in the total cost as there are areas that are likely to be more expensive. The South East and London-based nursing homes charge considerably higher fees. Elderly patients staying in the South East can expect a weekly fee of about £874 and the London counterpart is about £825 per week.
Nursing homes may also charge higher fees if the patient requires specialist care. Families of elderly people who are frail or have dementia should plan on paying higher fees as the level of care required may be greater.
In order budget correctly, it is important to carefully choose the right nursing home. It is worth talking to friends and associates who have experience and may be able to recommend a good nursing home. Other reliable sources are your local council, online care home directories and Care Quality Commission’s database. There is also an article on the BBC that you may find helpful.
You may also seek the help of advisers that specialise in financial advice for families with relatives in a nursing home. Their industry knowledge can be invaluable.
Care home costs are increasing in the UK. This is leaving thousands of people struggling with debts as they try to give their loved ones the care that they need. Although authorities are aware of what a serious issue this is, they have so far been standing off from delivering much financial support.
What’s the situation?
There is currently a cap on those who have to pay for elderly care. It’s set at £23,250 right now, which means that those who have assets worth more than £23,250 will need to pay for their own care. David Cameron has stated that he is going to raise the bar to £75,000 in 2017.
So what does this cap mean? To put it simply, it means that in 2017 once you have paid for £75,000 of care then the government will step in and pay for the rest until the patient dies.
How much do care homes cost?
Laing & Buisson’s report ‘The Care of the Elderly People Report’ states that there is a difference in how much you pay that is dependent upon where you live within the UK. What type of care you need will also determine the price. If you need specialist advice or the care of a nurse, then you’ll be paying far more than those who can stay in a residential care home without any real medical assistance. However, just because the elderly don’t need the support of a nurse today, it doesn’t mean that they won’t five years down the line.
Basic care services are around the £27,000 mark annually. If a nurse is required, this is increased to £37,500. However, if you live in Yorkshire you may have to pay basic care cost of £24,000 but if you live in London, it’s more likely to be £37,000.
Can you get help?
Due to the complexities of the elderly care industry, there are brokers who can help you to find the best possible financial package for your loved ones. Not only will you be advised on how this type of social care system works, but you can also obtain advise on which benefits are available from the state to provide support in addition to advice on how to handles things if you run out of funds.
If you’re looking for assistance on how to manage your money, whether you are entitled to more or which care home you are entitled to use, then contact us.
When it comes to long term care for the elderly, the UK government continues to be publicly criticised by the media for not having determined a way forward in this controversial and difficult to solve social area.
Funding long term care for the elderly continues to be an issue as the government has not taken a stand on how it can be addressed in a reasonable way. With costs continuing to rise and the government still looking for a way to make cuts, it seems that the issue will take a long time to improve.
The government commissioned report published by Andrew Dilnot in July 2011 recommended that fees paid by individuals should be capped at a total of £35,000 but the government is now set to cap fees at £75,000 in 2017. This means that the state would then need to pay any outstanding monies above this figure to cover long term care whether it’s in a care home or a nursing home. Local authorities and councils are already hard strapped for cash as the economy has not returned to the strength it had prior to the recession.
Social care funding underwent a cut as soon as the coalition government took over as part of a cost cutting drive to help the British economy. Unfortunately, specialist care and support can be very expensive, and elderly people are not getting what they need due to this cut.
A promised £2bn for councils to support the needs of the elderly has now not materialised. In fact, according to the Guardian newspaper, a cut of £2.7bn has occurred since 2010 with an April 2013 survey of councils recognising that conditions for the elderly were worsening. Meals on wheels and other home support care including washing and eating has been affected.
The elderly population is increasing in the UK and without extra funding, the system is not providing care at a level that is adequate. Unfortunately a major care home company, Southern Cross, which had over 730 care homes within the UK for the elderly had to close its doors due to not being able to meet its expenses.
The elderly, their families and those who care for them are suffering from hardship due to the financial restrictions that councils are facing. Those in critical need are having some of their requirements met, but some elderly people are having to stay in hospitals due to not having the funds for a care home stay. This costs the state and the NHS more money and strain.
If you need help with securing funding for your elderly care, contact us today.
Finding out that your elderly parent or relative can no longer cope well enough to live alone can be overwhelming in many ways. The loss of independence can cause emotional turmoil. Many people also feel very much under pressure and concerned when they start to look at the financial cost of paying for long-term elderly care.
Currently anybody who has assets worth more than £23,250 who has to take long term elderly care in the UK will need to pay for their own fees for staying in a care home.
The Dilnot Report and Its Progressive Findings
The Dilnot Report, was an independent review of elderly care commissioned by the government. With a focus on how elderly care is and should be funded, it looked closely at the fees paid by individuals. The report recommended that these fees paid by individuals should be capped at £35,000 per person and any further payment be met by the state. Unfortunately the capping that is being recommended by the government to take effect in 2017 is now set to be £75,000 as opposed to the recommended limit from the report.
What You Need to Know:
If you’re stuck in the position of not knowing what to do in order to pay for care for either yourself, an elderly parent or relative, here are the key points that you’ll need to consider:
- Take good advice. Look for a reputable company who will be able to advise you on all matters pertaining to the financial aspects of long term care.
- Type of care. There are several types of home care for an elderly person, depending on their overall health. One is home care, when an aide or helper will visit the person in their own home. Other options are a residential nursing home or a residential care home – these have differing levels of service.
- Fees. It’s a lot less expensive to opt for home care than for a residential home option.
- Financial Aid. Depending on your assets and savings, you may be entitled for help from your local authority.
- Power of Attorney. Many of our clients opt to use the Power of Attorney for their relatives to take action on their affairs. It’s a legal arrangement that will allow for full control over administration of the person’s affairs.
- Online Tools. There are several online tools that can provide help during this stressful time. Make use of online chat tools to speak with financial advisers, Cost of Care calculators, FAQs and any relevant videos.
- The Dilnot Report. Andrew Dilnot has investigated the current situation and is making recommendations to the government about social care funding and how it affects individuals. These recommendations will come into play in 2017.
- Financial Advice. Speak with a qualified Financial Adviser before committing to paying any fees.
- Means Test. You will need to arrange with a local representative of your authority to undergo the means test to understand what financial payments you will need to be responsible for.
- Annuities. Prepare early by setting up an annuity to help to pay for the future cost of elderly care.
Contact Farley Dwek if you have questions regarding the funding of either yourself, or your elderly relative.
It’s good to see that the national newspapers are highlighting the issue of care home fee funding and reminding people of the deadline for claims. You only have until 30th September, less than six weeks, to register your claim. If you think you may have a case, get in touch with us today. The Daily Telegraph recently featured our expert Hannah McLuckie who pointed out that you will have to prove that your medical condition meant you would have been eligible for NHS Continuing Care. Have a look on our website which details the process and contact us, if you have any questions.