Depending on your requirements, there are a number of different types of care which could be applicable to you:
Care at home
Most people would prefer to stay in their own home and receive appropriate care for as long as possible.
Local authorities will try and support people staying in their home for as long as practically possible, but whilst this might cut down on the cost of residential care, nursing care can still be expensive.
Residential care can be broken down into two separate categories:
- Personal care, where assistance is needed with tasks such as washing, dressing, feeding and getting around
- Nursing care, where the care needed requires more specialist attention from qualified nursing staff
Cost of care
The cost of your care will vary depending on a number of factors, including where the care is delivered, the type of care you need, as well as the frequency.
Care at home Whilst care delivered in your own home will undoubtedly be cheaper than residential care, the costs of nursing should not be underestimated. The actual cost will be down to a number of factors, including whether or not the care you receive is personal or domestic in nature and of course the number of hours of care you need.
The average cost of care in your own home is £15 per hour. Assuming care of two hours per day, seven days a week, you could be facing costs of £11,000 each year.
Live in care is even more expensive, starting at around £27,000 each year.
At the same time, don’t forget the costs of running your home. Your mortgage might have been paid off many years ago, but you would still have to meet all your usual bills, from council tax to gas and electricity, food, to the cost of any repairs on your home, these all have to be paid for.
Residential care As you would expect the cost of residential care is higher, than that of care in your own home. The amount you pay will vary according to which part of the country you live in and the type of care you need, but average fees in 2012/13 were:
£27,612 per year for residential care
Rising to £38,012 per year if nursing care is needed
Be careful of regional variations. The cost of care in the most expensive parts of the UK, such as London and the South-East, is well above the national average. Whereas in other areas, such as Northern Ireland and the North of England, the cost is likely to be lower.
Remember too, that care fees, like almost everything else, will rise each year. In fact over the past five years, fees have risen by an average of 3.5% each year; well above the rate of inflation.
Cost of care by region
As these two maps show, the cost of care varies significantly from region to region.
|Residential care home costs|
|Residential nursing home costs|
Just as you will have other costs to meet, if you are cared for in your own home, the same is true if you are in residential care.
If you are paying for your own care, you should check what is and isn’t included in your fees. But on top of nursing and residential costs, you should expect to have to budget for items such as:
- Clothing and toiletries
- Trips and holidays
- Presents for family
- Telephone calls
If the Local Authority is paying for your care, you will be allowed a Personal Expenses Allowance to pay for items such as these.
Irrespective of your care requirements and who will meet the cost, your Local Authority has to carry out an assessment of your needs. This is known as a Section 47 Care Assessment and will help to confirm your care requirements and the best way in which they can be met.
At what can be a difficult time, it makes sense to have a family member or close friend with you for this assessment.