If you or a loved one need to move into a care home, you may have a lot of questions. In this article, we will try and answer some frequently asked questions about care homes in the UK.
What Is a Care Home?
A care home is a general term for a residential facility that offers full-time care for its residents. The most common type of care home is a nursing home, but there are sometimes specialised care homes to help people with disabilities, or people with health care needs.
Care homes will provide general health care, like ensuring residents take their medication and have access to an onsite nurse. They will also provide personal assistance with activities like eating, washing, or mobility as needed. If the care home specialises in certain health needs, there may be more specialised medical care or equipment on site. In some care homes, there are activities and outings to keep the residents happy and healthy.
How Much Do Care Homes Cost?
Care home costs can vary significantly based on location, speciality, and also service levels. In the North of England, care homes are significantly cheaper than places like London. So, in general, they follow the local cost of living. A care home that specialises in a certain need or health condition may be more expensive because there are additional staffing and equipment needs.
The more a care home offers, the more expensive it is likely to be. Some care homes offer basic facilities and a good quality of care; others offer extensive facilities, a packed social calendar, and even fancier rooms and menus. Just like other forms of accommodation, there is a range depending on the lifestyle people are used to leading.
On average, care homes can cost around £35,000 per year, but that may vary depending on the type of care home you need and your location.
How to Finance a Care Home
If your loved one owns their own home, the easiest way to finance a care home is to sell the house and use the money to pay the care home fees. There are options to put the money in an investment trust to keep the money safe and ideally growing to continue to pay for your care home as long as possible.
There is local authority funding available to pay care home fees for people with low-incomes. Eligibility is determined by looking at both income and capital, so someone who owns their own home is unlikely to be eligible. Depending on your income levels, you may be eligible for full or partial payments.
The NHS may pay for your care home in rare cases. Under the NHS Continuing Healthcare, they will fund a care home for people who cannot live alone due to health conditions, are low-income, and do not have family support.
What Happens If I Run Out of Money?
If you are funding your care home expenses and run out of money, you can apply for local authority funding or NHS funding for your care home. Keep an eye on your finances and apply a few months before you start running out of money, as the process can take a little while. Again, they will look at your circumstances to determine eligibility.