Over the last couple of years, the UK has been affected by the cost of living crisis, resulting in higher costs of daily living. This has has a knock-on affect on the cost of care homes across Europe. This can cause a lot of distress for individuals or their loved ones to know how much they should be paying and knowing which care home is suitable. In this blog, we will discuss the different care home costs, finance options and the financial support available.
Recent research shows that the average care home fees are between £27,000 and £39,000 a year. The cost of nursing care usually costs more than residential care due to it involving more complex, specialist care. Some factors to consider that tend to affect the price of a care home include the location, type of care offered and the facilities that are offered.
The location can play a big part in the overall costs. For example, if a care home is located in high-demand areas such as London, you should expect to see higher costs than compared to a more rural area. It's important to note that the figures mentioned are based on an average and care home fees vary depending on a number of factors such as whether they are all-inclusive, or offer more than one care type.
Comparing costs from one care home to another can sometimes be a difficult task because each home has its own unique set of facilities, care options, home amenities and care professionals. Some fees are structured with a fixed weekly fee, but others may charge on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. Some care homes are all-inclusive, meaning all services are included in the weekly fees however, some care homes may not be and therefore charge additional fees for services such as an activities programme, a hair & beauty salon, physiotherapy or GP visits.
It is essential to check with a care home to find out what a resident is entitled to with the fees they pay. A care home offering an all-inclusive service usually will include all care services, amenities, accommodation, food and drink within their fees.
On average, the cost of respite care is £700-800 a week but it can be as much as £1500 a week. This type of care is usually offered as a short-term service following a hospital visit or if a caregiver requires a break from their duties. Respite care costs can vary based on how long the resident stays and what level of care is required from them. You can expect to be charged for respite care on either a daily or weekly basis, as the length of stay is always variable.
The weekly or monthly cost of residential care usually includes all meals, accommodation and assistance with personal care such as dressing, eating and washing. Typically, this will be provided at a fixed fee, however, in some care homes, there may be an additional cost for housekeeping services, hair services or items of personal use such as newspapers.
Nursing care is typically the most expensive type of care found in a care home or nursing home as it requires care and support from a qualified nurse for more complex healthcare needs. The costs of nursing care usually include accommodation, meals, facilities personal care and medical care.
All-inclusive care homes are something that has developed a lot more in recent years because they offer a flat fee which includes all facilities and care services including personal and medical care, meals, accommodation such as an en-suite bedroom and a range of activities. This type of care home is usually more expensive because everything is included, however, there are numerous benefits to living an all-inclusive way of life.
Benefits include residents having peace of mind that they won’t incur any extra fees for bills or activities for individuals to enjoy life in the way they choose. Whilst this is the standard for most all-inclusive care homes, it is still important to double-check with the home manager at a specific care home so there are no surprises.
Usually, the care home fees would be paid by the individual that requires the care or even their loved ones in some circumstances, however, sometimes a local authority can offer a source of funding towards the cost. If the person that requires care has assets above the national threshold, they may have to pay for their care in its entirety. If you have any uncertainties, we recommend seeking assistance from an independent financial advisor or contacting your local authority.
There are various options for individuals who need financial help with their care home or nursing home fees. It is down to specific circumstances on which funding types individuals can apply for, and how much funding is available. One option is to apply for means-tested contributions from the local council, which will provide someone with a sum of money towards care home fees depending on the individual's income and assets.
Another option is to apply for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding, which is available for those with significant healthcare needs, a healthcare professional will carry out a personal assessment. Additionally, some individuals may qualify for a deferred payment agreement where the local authority pays towards the care home fees, which the individual pays back when they sell their home or after their end-of-life care.
It's important to note that eligibility for financial help varies based on individual circumstances and is not guaranteed. It’s advisable to get in touch with your local authority and find out the options available to you or your loved one.
Local authority funding refers to a type of financial support provided by the local council to individuals who require care home or nursing home services but cannot entirely afford to pay for it themselves. The eligibility for funding is determined through a means-tested assessment, based on the individual's assets and income.
If the individual is eligible for funding, the local council will pay their care home fees. However, the amount of funding provided can vary between different councils and will depend on the individual's specific circumstances. It's important to understand that not all care homes accept local authority funding and may have their own eligibility criteria.
While funding from the local authority can cover basic care home services such as accommodation, meals, and personal care, it may not cover additional services or amenities, such as social activities or transportation. Additionally, some care homes may require a top-up fee if the local authority funding does not cover the full cost of care which will need to be provided by the individual.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) funding is a support package provided by the NHS for individuals with significant healthcare needs such as nursing care. It can cover the cost of the care home and nursing home fees, along with other healthcare-related expenses such as medication, medical equipment, accommodation and the care needed. Unlike local authority funding, NHS CHC funding is not means-tested and is only based on an individual's healthcare needs.
The eligibility financial assessment is carried out in person by a healthcare professional, who evaluates the individual's care needs and the exact type of care needed. To qualify for NHS CHC funding, an individual must have ongoing and complex healthcare needs. This could include a severe disability or a long-term illness.
It is worth noting that not all care homes accept NHS CHC funding and is important to understand that eligibility for NHS CHC funding is not guaranteed, and it's assessed on a case-by-case basis. If an individual is not eligible for NHS CHC funding, they may still be eligible for other types of financial support, such as funding from their local authority or deferred payment agreements. It's recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional or independent financial advisor to understand the options available.
Self-funding is an option for individuals or their families to pay solely for their care home costs without any financial support from the NHS or local authority. This means that the full cost of their care, including accommodation, meals, personal care, and other services or amenities, is the responsibility of the individual or their family. Self-funding may be a viable option for those with savings or assets to cover the costs or those who don’t meet the government-funded support eligibility criteria due to being over the threshold.
The cost of care home fees can vary depending on where you live, the care home size, and the level of care required, and it is important for you and your loved ones to carefully consider the available options before making your final decision.
The government have put a cap on care home fees that should be implemented in 2025. This means that an individual will not need to spend more than £86,000 on their personal care over their stay in the care home as once it has gone over this cap, the government with cover the personal care costs. Any other costs regarding care including accommodation, food and entertainment programmes are not eligible for the cap, so this will need to be covered by residents or their loved ones.
As well as the cap on care home fees, the capital limits for care funding are also changing in order to allow residents to receive additional help with their costs. When this cap is introduced, it aims to provide transparency and reassurance regarding the care home fees.
At Haling Park, we are an all-inclusive care home in South Croydon, therefore the cost of our accommodation, care options, entertainment and facilities are all covered by one fee. Before a resident moves into our care home, we will complete a care assessment to develop a full-time care plan, outlining each of their needs and preferences. This assessment will also help us determine the cost of care for an individual, as they are all unique and come with their own set of needs.
Our care types include 24/7 Dementia Care, Nursing Care, Residential Care and Respite Care. In addition to this, we offer a range of expansive facilities and amenities for residents to utilise on a regular basis. Residents also have access to additional medical services. Our modern home has been designed to satisfy the needs of each and every resident, we want them to consider Haling Park as a place they can truly call home.
We offer a continuum of care to our residents which means even if their care needs change or develop over time, we are able to provide the correct level of care by transitioning a resident to a different floor within the home. This helps to minimise stress to both residents and their loved ones from the moment they move in, through to end-of-life care.
Residents are encouraged to fill their days with their interests and hobbies. Our in-house facilities include a hair & beauty salon, a library, a cinema and an all-inclusive activities programme. There is also the opportunity to go out into the local area and discover the many attractions, shops, eateries and leisure activities. We want our residents to reap the benefits that come with group living whilst they choose to do the things that bring them joy on a daily basis.