As in many countries we have an ageing population here in the UK as the general health of the population improves and medical conditions can be more easily treated. But the downside of this is that the need for care in later life is growing. In recognition of the fact that we could all need care in later life many people are planning their care early to be sure they have the financial means to pay for the type of care they want and expect.
There are 3 main ways in which people receive elderly care:
- In residential care homes or nursing homes
- Via homecare or live-in care in their own homes
- Receiving care from family members such as a spouse or adult child
Care costs vary quite significantly depending on where you live. They also vary, naturally, depending on the type of care you want or need. Nursing homes that provide specialist nursing services will be more expensive than a residential care home or a live-in carer. But home care provided in the home by a carer who visits during the day will be even less.
Nevertheless, whatever type of care you require and wherever you live in the country the cost of care is not cheap. And when planning for it in advance it isn’t easy to accurately predict what it will cost because you won’t yet know how your physical health will be in a few years time. This makes it difficult to know if your pension and savings will cover the cost of your care needs.
Help From The Government
The government understands the true cost of care home fees and so offers financial help to those who do not have the means to pay for it themselves. People are means tested to find out if they will receive financial help and you can find out more about that in the Care Funding Guidance booklet from the Live In Care Hub.
Consider some independent financial advice from a registered IFA if you already know you will have to fund your own care. An IFA can help you plan your finances appropriately to deal with future care fees. This can alleviate any concerns and worries you may have.
Different Types Of Care
If you are not paying for your own care then you may have limited choice about how that care is provided. But if you are funding your own care then make sure you understand you options and don’t be rushed into making such an important decision. A care home is by no means the only choice whatever your budget.
Live-in care and residential care are the main two options, but all live-in cares are differnet and all care homes are different so you need to make a choice that will ensure your happiness and wellbeing.
When it comes to planning for care the more you understand what is important to you the better. Seek advice from friends, family and professionals and take the time to make sure you make the right choice for you.