Paying for your own residential or nursing home care

Many people want to feel more prepared for later life and start thinking about how they may cope if they are unable to care for themselves in the future.

We know that this can be a worrying time but getting up to date information and advice can help you make an informed decision. Most people needing residential care will be expected to pay something towards the cost from their income and/or capital.

Self-funding

If you pay the full cost of your care yourself, you are known as a self-funder.

If you are funding the full cost of care yourself and have decided that residential care is the right kind of support for you, you will need information on paying for care and where you can get further information and advice.

We strongly advise you to seek specialist financial advice from a qualified independent financial adviser; they can make sure that you are aware of all your options for paying for your own care and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

For 2016/17, if you have capital and /or savings of more than £23,250 it is likely that you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care until your capital / savings drop below this level. The types of capital / savings that are used to calculate this amount includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Savings held in a bank / building society accounts
  • Value of any holding of stocks, shares or unit trusts
  • Premium bonds
  • National Savings
  • Cash
  • Value of property and land

Any property you own will normally be included as one of your capital assets however the value of your home will not be taken into account if any of the following apply:  

  • Your partner, former partner or civil partner, except where you are estranged continues to live there
  • A lone parent who is your estranged or divorced partner continues to live there
  • An eligible relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
  • An eligible relative who is incapacitated continues to live there
  • Your child under 18 continues to live there
  • Other special circumstances

Living in a residential or nursing home: How much will I have to pay?

Residential and nursing home care

If you pay for your own support, you will have to pay the whole cost of living in a residential or nursing care home. There are a number of residential and nursing homes in Cambridgeshire and they may charge different amounts, depending on the facilities they provide and the amount of care that you need. By contacting a care home directly, you will be able to get a clear picture of their current charges.

The Care Quality Commission inspects residential and nursing homes and you should view each home's inspection report before deciding where to live. You can find care providers near you on NHS Choices.

Nursing care

If you need nursing care, your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) may pay a fixed amount towards the nursing element of your care costs. This is tax-free and non-means-tested.

If you need high levels of health care, you may be able to get your full care costs paid for by the NHS under the criteria for continuing health care.

Please note

The cost of residential or nursing home care can increase annually.

Benefits you may be able to claim

Depending on your needs and circumstances, there may be benefits you are entitled to:

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you with benefits advice.

Paying for care – your options

People who fund their own care, usually pay for their care fees in the following ways:

  • Use savings and /or income from investments
  • Sell their home and use the proceeds to pay their care fees
  • Rent out their property
  • Purchase a care fee payment plan: Under this arrangement, you pay a lump sum to an insurer who will then guarantee to cover residential and nursing care fees for the rest of your life.

Before making any decisions you should seek financial advice.

What happens if my capital or savings fall below £23,250?

If your capital and savings are likely to fall to below £23,250 (2016/17 figure) you may be able to get help towards the cost of your care. You will need to contact us to arrange an assessment as soon as possible.

If you choose to live somewhere that charges fees higher than we usually pay, the Council may not agree to continue paying for this. If this is the case, you may have to move to a home that charges lower fees or ask a third party to ‘top-up’ the amount needed. 

If you give away assets or dispose of them to put yourself into a more favourable position to get help with your care home fees, the Council may be able to assess you as if you still have the assets.

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