funding elderly care - options

Funding Your Own Elderly Care? Know Your Options?


If you will be funding your own elderly care you need to know your options so that you can make the best plan for your future.

There are nearly 12 million people in the UK aged 65 and, within the next 50 years, there will be 8.6 million more. A significant proportion of those people are likely to need care in later life, and if you are one of those people, it makes sense to start planning now. This is especially true if you are going to be paying for your own care as careful consideration needs to be made to ensure that you make the best possible plan for your needs.

Are You Sure You’re Not Entitled To Any Help?

It is worth double checking that you’re not entitled to any help, before you look into paying for your care yourself. If you have savings worth over £23,250 or you own your own house (relevant only if you’re moving into residential care) you are unlikely to be given financial help but you can ask for a means test to check. There are also benefits such as the Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance which you could be entitled to, that could help you pay for care.

Arranging Self-Funded Care

If you are going to be paying for care yourself it is highly recommended that you speak to an Independent Financial Advisor with experience in financial planning for care.

You can pay for care completely privately and directly with the facility or agency you plan to use. There is no legal need to involve the local authority if you do not want to. However, you can request the council arranges the care and pays for it, and they will then bill you for it, so they act as the middleman. Not every council will be able to do this, but it is worth asking if they can and if there is a charge.

Arranging A Care Needs Assessment

Even if you are paying for your care in its entirety it helps to know the kind of care you need now and in the future. You can get a free care needs assessment from your local authority which will help you gain an understanding of the kind of care you need, whether that is specialist dementia care, basic personal care help, or temporary care following a medical event like a stroke.

Using that information will help you understand the amount of care you need. However, be aware that in many local authorities there can be a long waiting list just to get the care assessment so if your requirements are urgent and you know you will be self-funding it may be more convenient simply to talk to a care provider directly. You can find a list of live-in care agencies that operate in your area here.

The Cost Of Care

Care is expensive, but you should understand the costs so you can budget. Visiting carers often cost from £20 an hour, a live-in carer can cost from £600 pounds a week, and care homes upwards of £600 a week. The price varies hugely depending on how much care you require and where you live. You can find a rough estimation of costs using the UK Care Guide calculator.

Get Advice When Making A Plan

It is great that you are making a plan for funding your own elderly care. Whether you choose an elderly care home, live-in care or visiting carers, it is so important to do your research to ensure you make the right choices. With the right care plan in place you can have the fulfilling life you expect with the peace of mind that the financial side is taken care of.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Great article – I found the Care Guide calculator very useful. It’s interesting to know that care homes and live-in care are around the same cost per week.

    • Thanks for commenting Mary – I think many people assume that live-in care would be too expensive but it is comparable to the cost of a care home. If an elderly person (or their family) is funding the care then it makes sense to find the type of care that works best.

      So often I hear older people who are very concerned that they will have to go and live in a care home. Hopefully articles like this one will spread the word that there are other, better options.


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