Funding elderly care and later life can be complex, expensive and unpredictable as needs change. This section includes information about all the care funding options available. It also includes information on local authority assessments which are critical to determine the care and support needed and how it may or may not be funded.
Care at home or in a care home
Regarding care funding, there are 2 settings – care at home (the majority of older people who need care receive it at home) or a stay/move into a care home (residential or nursing). There are then 2 options for funding the care which is mostly decided on the basis of how much money and assets your parents have.
In England and Wales if they have over £23,500 then they will be funding their own care either at home or in a care home. If cash and assets are between £14,000 and £23,500 the State and local authority will part-fund some care: with less than £14,000, all funding at home or in a care home will be provided by the local authority.
There is some care funding available which is not means tested, namely Attendance Allowance, Personal Independent Payments and NHS Continuing and Intermediate care – and these are well worth exploring even if your family are funding their own care.
Please take advice whichever route you are taking. There are lots of organisations that can help. You might want to choose a financial adviser with expertise n this area, so we would suggest that you look for an accredited SOLLA (Society of later life advisers) practitioner from their website.
Below we outline the main sources of local authority/state funding available.
Attendance Allowance – This is for people over 65 who need help with social (personal) care – washing, dressing or eating- due to an illness or disability. It is available for those who need to be looked after by day, and/or overnight in case help is needed.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – for anyone aged over 68 in 2015, re-named as Personal Independent Payments (PIPs) for anyone under 68, these can help with some of the extra costs of personal care or mobility due to a long-term illness or disability
NHS Continuing Care – NHS Continuing Care is care that is arranged and funded by the NHS free of charge outside of hospital. It is available for people who need ongoing healthcare and meet certain criteria
NHS Intermediate Care – NHS intermediate care is free temporary care at home for 6 weeks following a stay in hospital, or to enable the person being cared for to stay at home following an emergency breakdown in care services.
Local authority grants – Can be given if you need assistance at home with daily living and your individual financial assets fall under a set amount.
Carer’s Allowance – If you care for someone and meet some strict criteria then you may be eligible for a carer’s allowance.
Carer’s Credit – You can also earn Carer’s credits to help with the financial issues that may come with being a carer.
Constant Attendant Allowance – available for those with a war pension or suffering as a result of an industrial accident
Local authority payment – This can be used to also help for funding a residential care home, it is a means tested payment service.
Attendance allowance – If there is no Local Authority or NHS funding contribution then you may be eligible for attendance allowance funding.
NHS Continuing Care – As described above, it can be used for funding residential care homes
NHS funded nursing care – As the title suggests, you can receive nursing care which is funded based upon what your care needs are.
If you and your parents are funding your own care, then using assets and investments are options; there are many different schemes, the main options outlined below. Please take independent advice.
The all important first step to receive care, funded or otherwise is Getting your parents needs and finances assessed – our guide outlines why assessments are a good idea, how to get one, and what happens once you’ve got one.