If you are considering how to fund long-term live-in care it is likely that you have already thoroughly researched your care options & staying at home with 24-hour support feels like the right option for you.
If you are anything like me, the logical next step is to look into the average cost of live-in care and your various funding options.
What is the average cost of live-in care?
The cost of live-in care is hugely variable and ranges anywhere from £700 - £1,800 a week. With this in mind, the average cost of 24-hour live-in care is £926 a week.
The two main factors influencing the cost of live-in care are:
- Your chosen provider: cost of care varies greatly between provider’s meaning it is definitely worth shopping around
- Your level of care needs: some people are looking for companionship whereas others have high levels of personal care needs which will have a bearing on the cost.
FAQs - Funding Live-in Care
Am I eligible for local authority funding for live-in care?
To find out if you are eligible for funding from your local authority you will need to get in touch with the Adult Social Care Department at your local council. You will need to request a Care Needs Assessment, this is where a Social Worker will come out and see you at home and assess your care needs. As part of the Care Needs Assessment, a financial assessment is done to see if you qualify for funding from your local authority. Unlike residential care, the value of your house is not considered in a financial assessment for live-in care. Generally, individuals with less than £23,250 are eligible for some level of funding support from their local authority.
**Please note that from October 2023, the funding thresholds will be changing so that anyone with assets below £20,000 will qualify for full council funding, anyone with assets between £20,000 - £100,000 will be eligible for part council funding and anyone with assets above £100,000 will not be eligible for funding until they have contributed £86,000 towards their care**
What are the different types of funding offered by the local authority?
Direct Payments – a fixed sum of money paid directly to you that is to be used to cover the cost of your care. The frequency of direct payments is normally in line with the frequency of invoicing from your chosen care provider: weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Most councils will ask for evidence of how your direct payments have been spent every 3 months.
Council arranges & pays for your care – in this scenario the council will arrange your care and they will be invoiced directly by the care provider for the cost of your care. Meaning you will not need to worry about settling invoices.
Drawbacks – You may not receive your preferred care provider, instead you will receive a care provider who is willing to accept the local-authority funding rate for care with no additional top-up.
Mixed Personal Budget – this is where the council will pay a proportion of your care fees directly to the care provider & a proportion to you as direct payments. Meaning you can use the direct payments to pay for additional support of your choice if desired.
I have savings of over £23,250, am I eligible for any funding support for live-in care?
Attendance Allowance: Providing you are of pension age & have been assessed as having ongoing care needs for the past 6 months you will be eligible for Attendance Allowance. This benefit is not means-tested, meaning it is just your care requirements that are taking into consideration to determine eligibility. Attendance Allowance is funded at 2 weekly rates depending on your level of care needs, either £59.70 or £89.15 a week.
Home Adaptations: Providing you are assessed as having ongoing care needs when a Care Needs Assessment is carried out, you will be eligible for some funding from the local council for any necessary home adaptations. This can include things like additional handrails, bathroom to wet-room conversion or specialist equipment. Adaptations or equipment of less than £1,000 in value is free.
**Please note that from October 2023, the funding thresholds will be changing so that anyone with assets between £20,000 - £100,000 will be eligible for part council funding.**
Can NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) be used to fund live-in care?
To be eligible for CHC funding you must be assessed as having a complex medical condition with significant, ongoing care needs. CHC funding is not means-tested so your eligibility is based on the complexity of your care needs.
If you are eligible CHC funding should cover all your care costs, including permanent live-in care. Often younger people with complex care needs opt to be cared for at home, opposed to in a nursing home.
Do I have any other options for funding live-in care?
Homeowners can choose to release equity from their house, meaning they can continue living in their house but will have the financial means to pay for their own live-in care. The reason some people choose to do this is that their local council has not deemed their care needs significant enough to warrant funding for live-in care. However, the individual and their family would feel safer knowing that a Carer is on-hand 24-hours a day.
Releasing funds to privately fund live-in care also gives individuals greater control over which care provider they choose. It takes a leap of faith to let someone live in your house and support you with intimate tasks, so it’s important you feel entirely comfortable with your chosen Carer.
If you have any specific questions regarding how to fund live-in care which have not been answered in this article then please do get in touch. We will do our best to answer your questions and update this article with the necessary information.