Previously, we talked about what long-term care is and how you can start planning for it. Now we look at the funding options available.
Nobody wants to think about their health and wellbeing deteriorating in the future, but having a plan in place should that happen can help put your mind at ease. Weekly care costs average at around £800 for nursing care and £600 for residential care 1, so financial peace of mind knowing that you have options is essential.
The basis of a solid long-term care plan is a financial one: should you need it, how are you going to fund the long-term care you want? Below are a few options that could be a possibility based on your circumstances.
NHS continuing healthcare
If your main care need is a healthcare one, caused by a complex medical problem or a disability, you might qualify for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC). If you’re eligible you could receive a ‘healthcare package’ arranged and funded by the NHS either at home, in a hospital, a nursing home or a hospice. To be eligible you’ll need to undergo an assessment which will look at things like the level and complexity of your needs. You can find out more about NHS continuing healthcare here.
Funding from your local authority
Your local council (or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland (NI)) may be able to help you with your long-term care costs, either at home or in a care home. Your funding entitlement will depend on a care needs and financial needs assessment carried out by your local council or Health and Social Care Trust (NI). You can find out more about any help you may be eligible for here.
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to certain benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance to help pay for your long-term care costs. It is important to understand what you’re entitled to so that you can get all the help you need, and don’t end up paying more for your care than you need to. The Money Advice Service has a wealth of information about benefits you could be entitled to here.
Self-funding your care
This might be an option if you don’t qualify for local authority funding or need to bridge a fees shortfall due to partial help. You might also opt for self-funding if you would prefer a certain level or type of care. An expert adviser can help you to understand your self-funding position based on your circumstances, but this option could include:
- Downsizing your home
- Equity release
- Investment bonds (which come with their own risks)
- Using your cash and savings
- Selling valuable possessions (art, antiques)
- Renting out your home
- Checking for insurance policies that could cover care costs
The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial guidance on paying for long-term care and would be a good starting point. A financial adviser can also help you look at the bigger picture and implement the most suitable funding option for you into your long-term care plan, in line with your personal circumstances.
Long-term care planning is an emotional discussion point for many, and the funding options available can be complex to understand. Sometimes, decisions about your own health or the health of a loved one need to be made quickly, so thinking ahead about how much you might need to pay for long-term care is all the more important.
Worried about funding your long-term care? Getting independent advice could help you find a solution suited to your needs.