Live-In Care, Money, Finance

How to pay for live-in care

Posted 25th January 2022

According to NHS statistics, in 2019-20 there were 838,530 adults receiving long term care in the UK, with local authorities receiving around 5290 new care enquiries each day. Overall, the number of people aged over 65 receiving care has decreased over the past five years, with more people choosing to stay at home and be cared for by their family members. 

However, sometimes it is helpful to receive that little bit of extra support.  Options such as live-in care offer much more flexibility and personalised levels of support than traditional residential options. If live-in care looks like something that your loved-one could benefit from it might seem a daunting task to organise and pay for, but there are several ways to make the process easier and help cover costs.

Does my loved one need professional care?

If you are unsure if your loved one requires professional care, all councils offer a free care needs assessment. This involves a social care professional contacting or visiting an individual to evaluate if they are able to live independently and what level of extra support they might need. The results help to indicate if they need a carer, and if so, the kind of services they might benefit from.

There are many kinds of care available. Why choose live-in care?

There are various kinds of care available, from assisted living to full time residential care or a live-in or at-home care plan.

Live-in care is fast becoming a popular option for many people who need extra support but want to retain their independence and experience as little disruption as possible to their everyday life. Many families are discovering that live-in care allows both an individual’s needs to be met, and reassures relatives that they are comfortable and being cared for on their terms. 

According to Devoted’s 2020 survey, 98.5% of people do not want to go into a care home, and often, live-in care is the best way to make sure a loved one’s preferences and ideas are considered. It also forges strong bonds between clients and their carers, with each carer specifically vetted and matched to meet a client’s needs.

What are the benefits of live-in care?

There are numerous benefits to live-in care. Alongside more flexibility and independence, live-in care options ensure:

- That individuals can stay close to their loved ones, in the setting they feel most comfortable in

- That mealtimes are adapted to suit your loved ones preferences, with no strict schedules or times

- In terms of Covid-19 safety, only family members and designated carers enter the house

- Family and friends can visit whenever is convenient, and not limited to specific times

- Care is more personalised and dedicated to each client

- There is constant companionship, guaranteeing that your loved one won’t spend extended periods alone

How much does care cost?

After choosing to look into professional care, payment is usually the next thing to consider. UK councils do offer some financial support for social care but it is limited and eligibility is determined using a financial assessment. This calculates how much an individual or their family needs to pay toward their care.

The financial assessment takes into consideration family income, any pensions or benefits and general capital, including savings or other assets. People are not entitled to help with the cost of their care from the local council if their savings exceed £23,250. If you choose residential care for your loved one, the cost of their home will also be included in the assessment. However, if opting for live-in care, the value of their home will not be included in the assessment. It's also important to know that there is a cap on the amount that an individual will ever pay for personal care in their lifetime. Currently sitting at £72,000 this will increase to £86,000 in October 2023.

Who pays for care?

If you are not entitled to full council funding, you can either independently arrange and self-fund care or, pass the arrangements on to the council and be invoiced for it later. Most people choose the former as it gives them more control in securing the type of care that the individual wants and needs.

Some NHS funding is available for care. Known as NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC), it provides funding support in instances when your loved one has complex needs, covering the care that would otherwise be given in a hospital setting. If they qualify, they will be allocated a Personal Health Budget to be spent on the care provider or care package that best suits their needs. More details about the advantages and disadvantages of either managing costs directly or organising payment through your local authority can be found on the NHS website.

What self-funding payment options are available?

Most people will not be able to pay for care outright, and there are several ways to help meet care costs. These include:

- Equity release or lifetime mortgages which help people benefit from the value of a property without moving out of it 

Care top-up fees provided by family members or third parties to help meet some of the difference between an allocated personal budget and care costs

- Immediate Needs Annuity plans which involve paying a lump sum to an insurance provider in return for regular payments to cover long-term care costs. This is the closest option to long-term care insurance plans which are generally unavailable in the UK.

- Certain state allowances, such as the Attendance Allowance which allow those over the state pension age to claim extra payments without undertaking a means test.

- For those under state pension age, Personal Independence Payments can help individuals cover extra caring costs.

Pensions Credits are means tested benefits, available for those over state pension age with a lower household income.

For more information about how paying for live in care works, you can read our exclusive Finance Guide here.

Alternatively, chat to the Devoted team for expert help and guidance.

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