If you are thinking about care for yourself in old age, or how a relative will be looked after in their old age, one of the main things on your mind is probably how much it will cost for you or them to be looked after if a stay in a care home is required.
Although it’s not possible to give a definitive figure, doing some research to give you an educated idea of prices should help you with your financial planning. Knowing where you stand financially will also give you peace of mind. Our other articles on this site will also give you even more information on the financial side of care.
A survey published by Saga recently estimated that average care home bills are around £540 a week. The average stay of a person in a care home is four years, so over the average stay costs would come in at around £112,000 per person.
One major concern about the care industry is that prices are rising faster than the costs of inflation. Saga predicts that within 20 years’ time, care home costs will have risen to over £1,000 a week. This trend in rising costs has come about as inflation has been rising at an average of 2.5% a year, whereas care home fees are rising by 3.5%.
This rise in costs is of concern to the UK as a whole as well as to individuals and their families. At the moment one in six elderly people are in care homes. However, as the population is generally living longer experts predict that in the coming decades this number will be much higher.
The Government has discussed reforming the current funding system of means-testing to avert a potential care funding disaster in the future. A Green Paper on this is expected later this year.
Although average figures such as those quoted above can be a useful ball park figure, it’s important to take into account that these are not static figures and there are numerous other variables which will affect the cost of residential care later in life.
Costs can vary greatly from area to area, for example. As with many costs, prices are likely to be higher in London and the south of England. The type of care which you require will also have an impact on the fees that you will need to pay. For example costs for a nursing home will usually be higher than those for a residential home with a lower level of care, owing to staff and resource needs.
The fees will also vary according to any preferences you have for a care home. If you have any specific facilities or environmental preferences in mind, you will want to make sure you can afford the home you want, if and when the time comes.
It’s a good idea to start researching care home features and facilities and thinking about what you might want and need. You can then research into the prices and fees that you could realistically be looking at. This will help you and your family prepare financially.
As a result of a fall my mother has been placed into care and I am now in dispute with our Local Authority as to her funding. To this end I have three questions that I am struggling to find answers to and wondered if you could help.
1) After my father died my mother came to live with me. In order to accommodate her, my flat required some alterations for which we took out a bank loan. The loan is in joint names and my mother contributed towards the monthly repayments of £146.09. After being means tested, our local authority has now decided she is only entitled to the basic Personal Expenses Allowance of £23.90 per week and the repayment of this loan is not their problem. I am also disabled living only on benefits and could not cover the total of the monthly repayments out of my income alone. My question is this: Are the Local Authority allowed to take all of her income and thus forcing both of us to default on the repayment of our loan?
2) As part of my mother’s income she receives War Widow’s Pension which includes a Widow’s Supplementary Pension and an Age Allowance. This pension was arranged by the British Legion originally for my father following injuries caused during WW2 and is paid via the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency. When my father died my mother was told she would continue to receive this money for the remainder of her life but it could not be used to pay a third person or to be used as a guarantee against any secured loans. The Local authority are saying they will take all of this money each month, the care home are saying she should be allowed to retain a percentage of it and the British Legion have said they won’t pay any of it to a third person. Which of these possible outcomes is in fact the correct one?
3) For many years my mother has been paying into a full life insurance policy and a funeral payment plan. The funeral plan is to ensure the family are not burdened with the costs of her burial when the time comes and the life policy is to cover the cost of a joint headstone for her and her husband and to secure her place in the already over crowded graveyard next to her husband. Neither of these policies have any surrender value prior to my mother’s death and, if the monthly payments go into default then both policies become null-in-void and she would loose all the money paid in to-date. My question therefore is does the Local Authority have the right to force my mother into this situation by insisting her total income is paid to them above everything else?
Andy - 21-Jun-13 @ 5:44 PM
What would you estimate to be the average cost of a) residential care and b) residential nursing care in the SE of England?
Anthony - 21-Sep-12 @ 3:02 PM
When elderly sibling own funds run out does their elderly siblings have to pay for their care home.Resident is unmarried with no children and no assets to sell.Who pays for their fees when they need24hr nursing care due to dementia and stroke.Have heard Local Authorities contribute, taking personal and occupational plus State Pension, leaving approx £23 per week for personal requirements eg: haircut, toiletteries etc.Any information would be most welcome as this is extremely worrying.Remaining siblings are all struggling OAP's concerned for welfare of the elderly sibling whose limited funds have dwindled and almost exhausted.Will they be discharged onto streets or admitted to hospital or ???Thank you
Narn - 27-Aug-12 @ 9:17 PM
I am considering building a retirement home in Thailand with 24 hour healthcare and many caring staff. Good weather and good facilities for 50% of the cost of Uk equivalent homes.. Please advise if you believe retirees would be prepared to live in Thailand ???
Lee - 23-Nov-11 @ 8:28 AM
My elderly mother has recently moved from a Care Home to a Nusing Home. She failed to make provision for this happening, I know very little about her finances in total. b) I have access to only one of her Bank Accounts. This presents me with serious problems, as the charges which are being presented are well in excess of amount I have access toWhat does concern me is this must be happening to lots of others as we live longerSurely it could be made easier as dealing with Adult Social Care, Dept of Work & Pension and the Care/Nursing homes on financial matters is so confusing to follow and even at times to understand, Other people who have no experience of how these departments work must be demented. The system must be made easier as it is not just about paying the charges but its understanding what the charges are for. My final comment is that you could be getting ripped off but you are not to know. Best Regards. PS well you did ask for comments