Funding care costs: What are the options?

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 07 May 2014

The social care crisis has reached breaking point. Recent government statistics suggest that the number of older people will outstrip the number of family members able to provide care for them in 2017.

The figures

By 2030, it’s estimated there will be more than two million people aged 65 and over with no child living nearby to support them – which is worrying given that a place at a nursing home costs around £36,000 a year.

The OneFamily Foundation, which provides Personal Grants and Community Awards for those facing financial hardship or needing help in their community, has seen floods of applications pour in for care-related issues. From breaks for carers to requests for help with mobility, the range and amount of applications reflects how much of an issue long-term care really is.

The clock is ticking to tackle the crisis, but for those of us already facing healthcare issues with no time left, how are we supposed to fund the rising costs? If you or a family member are in this situation, here are a few options that could be explored.

Apply for local-authority funding

The local authority may pay for all or some of the care costs depending on whether you satisfy their criteria. They will carry out a health assessment to work out your individual needs and a financial assessment to determine how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of care yourself.

Look into NHS continuing healthcare funding

Continuing healthcare is a package of health and social care from the NHS which covers the cost of all care assistance needed in any setting. It’s worth noting that this has really strict eligibility criteria and is only available for those with primary health care needs (this means that the main need for care must relate to a person’s health). If you or a family member have a severe healthcare condition and need a nurse to look after you, it’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible for it.

Claim your entitled benefits

Most people in older age are entitled to some financial assistance, yet millions do not claim the benefits available to them. There are a string of state benefits out there ranging from disability allowances to attendance allowances, so whatever happens, make sure you find out the ones you’re entitled to.

Take out long-term care insurance

Long-term care insurance provides financial support if you need to pay for care provision for yourself or someone close to you. A typical plan covers care in the home, assisted living and nursing home care along with other long-term care services. However, a claim will only be paid out if the policyholder is unable to carry out certain daily activities without help, such as getting out of bed, washing or using the toilet.

If you’re bearing the brunt of care costs, it’s worth investigating the free support services out there. It’s also important to remember that if circumstances change and you or your family member’s health deteriorates further, you can re-apply for financial assistance.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial adviser about your own circumstances.