Getting long-term care funding for your elderly parents or relatives can be complex and complicated. There are lots of different types of funding available; some are means-tested and some aren’t.
We’ve provided extra information on the funding options available for you – just follow the links at the bottom of this page to read more. There are three overall sources of funded care; through the benefits system, local authorities and the NHS.
It’s important to learn about all the funded care options available out there as some are not as well-known as others. But first, we’ve tried to answer our most commonly asked questions about care and its funding.
Will my parent have to pay for care?
There are many factors that need to be considered before this question can be answered. Their health and mobility will be taken into consideration as well as the level of help they need.
Depending on the NHS or local authority funding your parent is entitled to and the value of your parent’s savings, assets and income they might have to pay for all of their care, maybe a part of it or nothing at all.
Would my parent qualify for free healthcare?
NHS Continuing Healthcare is a healthcare package fully funded by the NHS for those with complex medical conditions, ongoing care needs and assessed as having a ‘primary health need’. Even if your parent has a long-term condition or disability they may not meet the criteria unless a ‘primary health need’ has been identified.
Follow the link for NHS Funded Care on this page to read more about this free healthcare.
If your parent is eligible they can receive long-term care in a variety of settings, including their home, in a hospital, hospice, or in a nursing or care home.
The assessment for this funded care is more about your parent’s health needs as opposed to their social care needs.
Who can help pay for care?
Your parent may be entitled to a contribution towards their care from the Local Authority but this will depend on a few factors. The needs of your parent will be determined through a care needs assessment and the level of contribution will be based on a financial assessment.
If your parent is eligible they will be entitled to local authority funding for care at home or outside of the home. The Local Authority can either arrange for the care or pay a direct debit to allow them to organise their care themselves.
What if my parent doesn’t qualify for any financial help towards care?
Firstly, make sure you have explored all options, as some care packages are not means-tested.
When all avenues have been investigated and your parent does have to fund their own care, there are options you can look at:
- Do some research on immediate need care fee payment plans which guarantees an income for life when your parent invests a lump sum.
- If your parent decides to sell their home to pay for care there are options as to what to do with the house, but we would recommend speaking to an independent financial adviser with a specialist CF8 qualification, sometimes referred to as a ‘specialist care fees adviser’ to ensure that they are qualified to advise on how to fund long-term care.
- The local authority may offer a deferred payment agreement which will allow your parent to use the value of their home to help pay for care home costs. If your parent is eligible, the council will pay the care home bills on behalf of your parent by putting a legal charge on the property. Your parent can delay repaying the council until the time they choose to sell the house.
When will my parent’s property not be taken into account in a means test?
There are few scenarios where your parent’s house won’t be considered in a means test:
- If your parent only requires temporary or short-term care
- If their partner is still living in the house (unless estranged)
- If their estranged partner is still living in the house and they are a lone parent
- If another relative who is over 60 is living in the house
- If you or any of your siblings are under the age of 18 and living in your parent’s house
- If the house is occupied by a relative who is registered as disabled
Where do I get advice on care funding?
It’s important to get the right advice at the start as the cost of the care may be substantial and long-term. To maximise your parent’s income and to preserve capital please seek advice from:
- Your local council
- The Money Advice Service Retirement Adviser Directory
- The Social of Later Life Advisers