Funding your live-in care

Do you love the idea of live-in care but keep asking yourself the same question: How will I fund it? Arguably, this is the question we are asked the most, with many people feeling that funding is a minefield. On this page, we aim to answer many of your questions about how best to finance live-in care, but please do contact us if you have additional queries, or if you want to discuss any aspect of your care costs further.

What are the current rules governing care funding?

At present, social care is means-tested. Therefore, in England and Northern Ireland, if the person needing care has assets over £23,250 they will have to pay for their care. However, if you intend to continue living in your home (rather than moving into a care home), your home isn’t counted amongst the assets that are assessed. You can find out more information on this from Age UK and Age NI.

In Wales, the threshold is £24,000 for care at home or £50,000 for care in a care home. You can find out more information on this from Age Cymru. In Scotland, the threshold is £27,250 but the arrangements are somewhat different, as personal care and nursing care are free, though councils have the discretion to charge for other services. You can find out more information on this from Age Scotland.

Accessing public funding to pay for care

The first step to understanding what a person may be entitled to from the person’s local authority is to request a Needs Assessment. The person’s local council will assess their financial situation in order to let them know what they are entitled to, if anything.

For an individual who has significant health needs, the other publicly-funded option is an assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC). NHS Continuing Healthcare isn’t means-tested, but in order to be awarded CHC the person needing care would be required to go through an assessment of personal and medical needs which is scored using points.

Should you or your relative qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, the care needed will be funded entirely by the NHS, with regular reviews to check on CHC eligibility. Many ENA clients have been successfully awarded NHS Continuing Healthcare in the past and thus we would be happy to provide information to anyone that may help them in deciding whether an assessment of this kind is worth considering.

Funding live-in care privately

Broadly speaking, here are some ways in which live-in care can be privately funded:

From personal income or savings

If you have a considerable income or savings then this option may well suit you or your family. However, in the case of savings, where interest rates are very low at present, your money won’t be growing at a particularly rapid rate. Another option is to look at alternative investment opportunities, but this would very much depend on your attitude to risk and whether you want to invest in low or high-risk funds.

From an annuity

You could purchase an annuity (a retirement income product purchased with some, or all, of your capital, intended to give you regular payments thereafter). A key point with annuities is to choose the right option so that you are likely to get back in income the capital used to purchase the annuity. You can reduce the risks associated with an annuity by including guarantees against some of the downsides.

From equity release

This is where you release some of the value of your home, most notably through an equity release scheme. There are many different schemes, all of which have positives and negatives to consider before entering into an agreement. There are other means of using some of the value of your home, too, perhaps by downsizing, or entering into an arrangement with family to provide the capital that you need. You may also wish to approach your bank for a loan to be secured against your assets.

Claiming benefits to help with care costs

Sometimes, the person needing care may be entitled to claim benefits. For example, if the person is under 65 years old, they could apply for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If the person is over 65, they could qualify for Attendance Allowance. You can find out more about all of the benefits relating to disabilities and health from the government.

In addition, a person with a diagnosis of dementia may be able to reduce their council tax liability. More information on this is available from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Care customer

Key points about funding live-in care with ENA Care Group

$ Unlike residential care, where many people have to sell their homes to fund living in a care home, you’ll never have to sell your home to pay for live-in care as you’ll continue to reside there.
$ Unlike residential care, where many people paying privately pay more so the provider can ‘top up’ what local authority-funded residents pay, ENA clients pay only what their care needs require.
$ For many people, the cost of live-in care is comparable to the cost of residential care, but without the upheaval of leaving the comfort of your own home, which for many is priceless. Live-in care can be even more advantageous if a partner needs care, too. We offer a range of services, from respite to long-term live-in care, offering total flexibility for individuals and families alike.
$ Care and support with the ENA Care Group includes a fully managed service regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This means you can be safe in the knowledge that all of our care and support services are overseen and properly accounted for.
$ Accessing care and support from a fully-managed service means you are paying a fixed, all-inclusive rate for a service that is entirely personalised to you. We regularly review care plans and, should your needs increase to a point where additional care and support is required, we will communicate and discuss this clearly with you at all times.

What is the best funding option for me/my family?

The choice you make about how to fund your care is entirely personal to you, your family and your circumstances. Given that many people have more than one option available to them, we would always advise discussing personal circumstances with a professional, and independent, expert. Please ensure you choose someone who is qualified to give this advice and ideally isn’t looking to sell you a product or service – impartial information is crucial in helping you to make an informed decision.

Additional legal considerations

Alongside obtaining advice about funding care, it is important that all legal aspects of your affairs – for example Power of Attorney (POA) and a will – are up-to-date, so that all of your future wishes about your care and finances are documented while you have full mental capacity. This is even more important if you have been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia, whereby your mental capacity may deteriorate as the condition progresses.