Your local council may be able to help your relative with the costs of a care home or, if they prefer to remain at home, with paying for carers, equipment and specialist services.
If they live in England or Northern Ireland, the amount of funding that they will receive varies, and will be determined by a number of factors including:
What their individual needs are (based on a care needs assessment)How much they can afford to pay towards care costs themselves (they’ll be assessed financially)
If your parent or relative has a serious medical condition or a long-term disability, they may qualify for Continuing Healthcare (CHC).
This is provided free of charge by the NHS and care is available either at home, or in a hospital, nursing home or hospice. Unlike local authority funding, NHS Continuing Healthcare is not means-tested.
A person is more likely to qualify for Continuing Healthcare if they have mostly healthcare needs rather than social care needs, or in other words, if they need medical support rather than a carer. To determine whether a parent or relative might be eligible for Continuing Healthcare, a health or social care professional will use a checklist covering areas of care such as cognition, mobility and continence. If their needs are considered high in a number of these areas, they will then undergo a full assessment. Following this assessment, they’ll be notified whether or not they qualify. Unfortunately simply having a diagnosis of a particular condition such as dementia, doesn’t mean your parent or relative will automatically qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. It will need to be proved by the assessment that they have a ‘primary health need’ before funding will be granted.
You can find out if a parent or relative may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding here. If you have any questions or need further information, the NHS recommends speaking to an organisation called the Beacon, which gives free independent advice on NHS Continuing Healthcare. Visit Beaconchc.co.uk or call the free helpline on 0345 548 0300.
If they aren’t eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding, and live in England or Northern Ireland, they’ll need to have less than £23,250 in savings, including any money in or taken from their pension, for the local council to pay towards the cost of their care.
If they have between £14,250 and £23,250 in savings, then they’ll qualify for some support, but if they have less than £14,250, their local authority may cover the full cost of care.
If a parent or relative lives on their own and then goes into residential care permanently, their local authority may also factor in the value of their home when assessing how much they can afford to pay towards their care costs. However, they can’t include the value of their property in their financial assessment for the first 12 weeks after they move into care, so they have time to think about their options. If their partner or spouse is still living in the property, the value of the property will be disregarded.