Weekly fees for a nursing home in England vary substantially according to location but are typically between £600 and £800 per week (yes, weekly!) (Source: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-a-care-home/), and if specialist care is required the annual costs can easily be in excess of £100,000.
Many people prefer to remain at home for as long as they can. One of our clients pays nearly £70,000 a year to stay in her home, with a full-time carer, and that is before the usual day-to-day costs of running a household.
Either way it is an expensive episode in life, and it makes no allowance for the unpaid contributions of family and friends.
There are a number of ways that care costs can be mitigated by the State, such as NHS Continuing Care or Local Authority funding, but eligibility for these can be complicated and confusing. The NHS itself says “The process involved in NHS continuing healthcare assessments can be complex.” To emphasise the point they then mention “An organisation called Beacon gives free independent advice on NHS continuing healthcare.” (Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/money-work-and-benefits/nhs-continuing-healthcare/)
Local authority schemes rely on individuals having limited capital – less than £23,250 in England. (Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/money-work-and-benefits/when-the-council-might-pay-for-your-care/).
In practice a large majority of us will have to rely on self-funding for care and will have to draw upon the income or capital from our savings and investments.
There is a range of financial products which can help manage the situation, such as care annuities, long term insurance, or a deferred payment scheme. Some of these options can be expensive and are often complicated. Access to them may also depend upon how much capital you have. Advice from a specialist adviser is very important. Here are a few other alternatives that could be considered:
Care in later life can be funded from one or a combination of any of the above, and more. Good planning is advisable and seeking sound investment advice essential.