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.

Average fees

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.

Planning ahead

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.

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