At The Care Bureau we will make every effort to ensure choosing the right package of care to suit your needs and budget and will endeavour to ensure you receive all the financial assistance available to you. Many people are concerned about rapidly rising bills for support at home and therefore one of the challenges in budgeting for Home Care is of course that at the beginning you do not know how long your relative may need help for, nor how much per week.
In most cases we can give you a guide to what the costs are likely to be for a given level of care when you first contact us. Because an individuals package of care is tailored specifically to them the exact cost can only be established with the help and support of one of our care team once they have made their first visit to the clients home to understand the full situation. The cost of Homecare can change as often and as much as a clients needs do. It is important to remember, however that in most cases care at home will be less expensive than the cost of a residential care home and is often the preferred option for many people.
We currently operate across England serving the East, West and Central Midlands. Every council in the UK has your relative and their needs at the top of their agenda. They are working hard to provide care funding for services that allow people to remain at home for as long as possible.
Here are some important things to consider when thinking about the cost of care at home - but you should always seek expert advice before taking any decisions:
Local Authority Funded Home Care Services
When Social Services know that help in the home is required, they will arrange for a Care Manager to assess your relative's needs. The manager will discuss with you and your relative, what kind of Homecare will provide the required support and assistance. Once this has been agreed, Social Services will discuss the Home Care funding available determining your relative’s eligibility and working out how much money they can allocate to them. There is a lot of demand for social care – only those in most need of basic personal and domestic Home Care are likely to receive care funding. In most cases people are expected to contribute towards funding care services provided to them. However, funding bodies offer advice, information and assessments free of charge.
It is important to check what Social Services or NHS funding your relative may be entitled to. The following are some of the forms that this may take:
Pension Credit provides a guaranteed minimum level of income (Guarantee Credit) by topping up your weekly income if it is below the threshold (£137.35 if you are single, £209.70 if you have a partner). These amounts may increase further depending on individual circumstances. For example, if you are disabled then any addition will be assessed at the time of application. Those aged 65 or over may also qualify for Savings Credit, you may receive this on its own or along with the Guarantee Credit. You may be entitled to savings credit if you or your partner are aged 65 or over and have made some provision for your retirement for example savings/investments or a second pension.
Council Tax Benefit
If you qualify for the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit then you would normally qualify to have your council tax paid in full. If you are not receiving the Guarantee Credit element and have savings in excess of £16,000 then you will not be eligible for Council Tax Benefit. The assessment to establish whether you qualify for support with your Council Tax if your savings are below £16,000 is based on your level of income and the amount of Council Tax that you pay
NHS Continuing Health Care and Funded Nursing Care
NHS Continuing Care is a package of care funded by the NHS. It helps to meet the physical and mental needs that a person has as a result of a disability, accident or illness. This can be provided in any setting, including your own home. The care is funded by your local Primary Care Trust. To qualify, you have to be assessed as having a ‘primary health’ need. Assessors will make this decision by looking at a person’s day-to-day needs. This can be done prior to discharge from a hospital, or when your health gets worse (i.e. if you are at home). To arrange an assessment you will need to speak to hospital staff or your GP. Consent to the assessment must be given by the person needing it, or in situations where they are unable to do so, the person holding Lasting Power of Attorney for their health and welfare will be required to do so.
Most people are eligible for Direct Payments provided they can manage their money, make good decisions about how they spend it and keep simple records of how they have used their Direct Payments towards their care funding. Direct Payments put you in control. For example, you are not obliged to use the service recommended by your council. You can top up the funds allocated to you to purchase additional services, or you can select a different service provider if you believe that paying a bit extra for the company you prefer will give you a higher quality of service.
The Government are committed that everyone who is eligible, will be allocated a Personal Budget. A personal budget is a clear allocation of social care funding from the local authority given to customers after an assessment, which should be sufficient to meet their assessed needs. People can use this money to purchase services that meet their needs and help them to achieve their outcomes.
Paying for care privately
If your relative is not eligible for Government funding then there are a number of options available to help fund any care needed privately. An Independent Financial Adviser will be able to provide guidance on the best options available for you and your relative’s needs.