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In the UK, care services needed for the elderly are increasing in demand and residential care home and nursing home costs are reportedly one of the highest in Europe. With the short supply of homes and high care fees, it is becoming difficult for care seekers and their families to work out if they can afford a move into a nursing home and cover their own care fees. A lot of families in the UK are looking at other options like using local authority funding.
Below, we have explored all the options you can consider when moving into a care home or nursing home, and more precisely care home fees, the care options available and what financial assistance you could be entitled to.
Average Care Home Fees For The Elderly In The UK
In 2023, the average care home fees in the UK vary between £27,000 to £39,000 per year for residential care. If you require nursing care or specialist care this cost of care can rise considerably.
Residential care costs an average of £3290 per month (an average weekly cost of £760) in the UK. However, it is important to remember that these figures all depend on the location of the home, the facilities that are offered and the level of care that needs to be provided to the resident.
Studies show that care homes in the North West tend to have lower fees and the cost of care in care homes and nursing homes in London are the highest.
Care Home Fee Structure
Care home or nursing home fees vary depending on the type of care needed and because of this, it makes it difficult for care seekers and their family members to work out all of the costs involved. A care assessment of the person going into care may help determine the type and level of care required, as care services vary and can include many different types such as nursing care or dementia care.
Depending on the home, you might find that some residential care homes have a fixed term rate every week/month or they will charge a 'pay as you go' fee instead.
On top of the basic care home fees, you might find there is an additional cost to use the facilities that they have to offer, such as the use of the hairdressers, or for participating in certain social activities. Every care home and nursing home with have different costs and pricing structures associated with them and some offer an all-inclusive option.
In the UK, most homes offer a flat rate for their services. Residential Care normally covers accommodation, meals and care and this type of support is best offered to people that need assistance with daily living and personal care.
It is important that you speak to the home to see if there is anything else included. Services to consider are housekeeping, laundry and social activities.
Those receiving Nursing Care have access to all the same facilities and services as those in Residential Care, however, due to the additional support needed with Nursing Care, this tends to come at a higher cost.
This is because individuals that require Nursing Care may have more complex requirements and as a result need more medical care and support on a 24-hour basis.
Respite Care Costs
Respite care provides a service on a short-term basis to support a resident temporarily as they are unable to manage their own personal care. This is normally because they need additional help following an illness or surgery that they have had.
Moving into a care home or nursing home for Respite Care can provide families or caregivers with a break and is an amazing service to support those in need and their families.
Care home costs for Respite Care typically get charged on a daily or weekly basis depending on the predicted recovery time and level of care required. It is worth contacting the care home directly to find out if there is a minimum length of stay required for their Respite Care service.
The fees associated with a care home depend on the service required, the facilities they offer and the location. As a standard, care home fees cover your accommodation, meals, medical care and support.
You might find a care home or nursing home that offers an all-inclusive option which will mean that additional services won't come at an extra cost. The additional facilities and activities on offer from a care home can play a big part in deciding whether it is the right care home for you or a loved one, so it is important to check with each individual care home to compare what they offer.
Living in an all-inclusive care home is becoming more popular in the UK as you pay a fixed rate that includes not only your care but additional facilities, services and support. This way of living gives residents and their families transparency and means they avoid paying additional hidden fees.
In 2023, the cost of living increase in the UK means that moving into a care home or nursing home allows older people to live in a safe and secure environment without worrying about increasing energy bills and living costs.
There are a number of ways to pay for care. Normally the cost of care is paid by the individual needing it or their family will contribute towards their care home costs.
However, in some cases, you might be granted local authority funding. The local council will pay towards the cost of care needed or help with the remaining cost.
You may be eligible for local council funding depending on certain circumstances. If you require financial help, it is best to have a financial assessment.
Not everyone is able to afford to pay for their own fees or have a relative to help them out. Some individuals are eligible for financial support to help towards the cost of their home fees and will need to get this support to pay for their care.
One of the first options to look into is a means-tested contribution from your local council. An assessment of the individual's income, savings and assets will be looked at and if they fall below a certain threshold, the local council will contribute towards that person's care costs.
Another option to cover your care home costs is to apply for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding. NHS-funded nursing care is available to individuals that have significant healthcare needs and to qualify, you will need to have an assessment with a medical professional.
If someone doesn't qualify for either the local authority or NHS funding, they may be eligible for a deferred payment agreement. This arrangement will allow an individual or their family to pay back their local authority for all nursing care costs once assets, such as a house, have been sold or that person has passed away.
It is important to remind you that financial support through your local council or the NHS is not guaranteed as it can vary depending on an individual's circumstance. To help support you with your finances, it is always recommended to speak to a financial advisor to understand what are the best options for you and get the financial help you need.
This funding is when the local authority helps to pay care home fees for elderly people that need financial assistance. Local authorities base their funding on a financial assessment of an individual's savings and assets.
If the means test provides information that makes the elderly person eligible for funding, then the local authority will pay for the care for that individual. However, it is important to know that not all residential care or nursing homes accept local authority-funded residents and may only accept self-funders.
Another point to remember is that the care home costs might not be fully covered and a top-up fee may be required from your local council to pay for care. If someone's assets and savings threshold is over the limit, they may be required to pay the remainder of their own fees.
Furthermore, personal expenses allowance will not be covered with local council funding. If you need to use additional services or amenities you would need to self-fund this or find a care home that covers personal care services in their pay structure.
If you are an individual with significant healthcare needs, you may be able to require NHS funding. This funding is known as NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC).
The costs of a nursing home can be covered by the NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. To get this funding you will need a separate assessment and the means test is not considered. If approved, your care home fees and anything related to your health can be covered.
There are very specific and complex requirements to get ongoing NHS-funded nursing care. The individual must have a severe disability, a long-term illness or a terminal illness and will require an assessment from a medical professional, such as a registered nurse.
If it is concluded that the individual is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, the NHS will fund the full costs of their care home fees. This includes accommodation, meals, services, nursing care and any other medical-related expenses.
Like all of the other financial support options, it is important to remember that not everyone is eligible to receive NHS-funded care fees.
Self-funding your care costs is also an option when it comes to paying for care. This option is when an individual or their family pays for their own care costs without receiving any help from the local authority or the NHS. This cost of care includes accommodation, meals, housekeeping and any other services that are needed for that individual.
Being a self-funder is dependent on your savings and assets. This is normally the best option for individuals who do not meet the requirements due to their savings threshold being too high for NHS funding or local authority support and will need to pay for care themselves.
If your money is within assets, you may be eligible for a grant from the local council. This is when the council pays for your care with a loan. This is then repaid when a property or these assets are sold. Another option would be an equity release but we would recommend you speak to a financial advisor about this option.
New Care Home Fees Cap 2025
Starting in October 2025, the UK government is planning to impose a limit on care home fees, which will be known as the "cap." The cap will be set at £86,000 and will include the cost of accommodation, meals, and personal expenses. However, the cost of nursing care will not be part of the cap.
The main objective of the cap is to provide individuals with greater clarity and transparency regarding the cost of nursing homes fees and to assist them to cover personal care costs. It's worth noting that the cap will only be applicable to individuals aged 18 and above and will not cover the expenses related to social activities, transportation, or other extra services.
Alexander House is an all-inclusive, person-centred care home that is situated in Pinhoe, Exeter. Our home is a private facility that offers luxury accommodation for 67 residents. Being an all-inclusive home means the cost of your care is covered and allows you to enjoy the services and amenities that the home has to offer.
Our home was purpose-built to provide residents with an enriched and fulfilling lifestyle. In addition to our luxury environment and first-class facilities, we offer Nursing Care, Residential Care, Dementia Care and Respite Care, by an experienced team.
At Alexander House Care Home, our utmost priority is to create a luxurious yet comfortable environment for all our residents. We have worked tirelessly to create a home that radiates opulence and ensures that both residents and their loved ones feel supported and well-cared for by us.
Our care home features beautiful en-suite bedrooms, private gardens, a comprehensive activities program, a cinema room, and many other on-site facilities, providing residents with choice and variety every day.
If you have any further questions about Alexander House and what we can offer your family then get in contact with us by emailing email@example.com, by phone at 01392 579 777 or by filling out our contact form.