Find A Nursing Home - A Guide To Financing A Care Home Stay
Moving to a nursing home is one of the best things you can do to ensure the quality of your life in your senior years
. Living in an environment especially designed for the needs of older people gives you the freedom and confidence you need to enjoy this new phase in your life. Your children and other family members can relax, too, knowing you're in a caring home. There are many important matters you need to consider, however.
One of the most important matters in finding a care home is that of finances. Finding and moving to a nursing home is a stressful time and worrying about financial matters makes it more so. Here are the basic facts about caring home funding in the UK.
Before you can plan on moving to a care home, you must have your needs assessed by your local council. This is a care assessment to determine the level of care you need. Depending on your circumstances, the assessor may decide that you can stay in your existing home and perhaps have a nurse or carer visit you regularly, or you should consider moving into a residential care home or nursing home.
Everyone is entitled to this Needs Assessment. It's a straightforward procedure; a social worker will ask you about how you cope in your daily life and what type of care you think you require. This will enable a care assessment to be made. It's important that you give the social worker as much information as possible. You need to be clear, for example, as to whether your want to stay in your own home or own area.
Whatever the results of the Needs Assessment, you will then have to undertake a Financial Assessment. This establishes to what extent your local authority will be able to fund your care.
This financial assessment is essentially a means test. It will determine the value of your assets and income and decide whether you are entitled to funding. These assets include the value of your house but exclude any assets belonging to your partner or any relative. By judging you assets against certain limits determined annually, the council can decide to what extent you're eligible for care home funding.
Having undergone these two assessments, you will be in a position to make an informed decision about your future care. Here are some things you need to remember when considering the matter of care home funding.
Firstly, each local authority uses its own rules to decide who qualifies for funding. It takes into account such factors as its budget for the year. If the authority decides you do not match its criteria, it has no obligation to fund you whatever your personal financial circumstances.
Secondly, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have different systems. You should request your council's rules in the form of a written document outlining the eligibility criteria.
Local authorities have limits to the amount theyre willing to pay for various types of care
. If youd like to choose a home costing more than the limit the council may ask you to find someone to pay the extra.
Essentially it is the local council's social services department which is mostly responsible for funding older people in care. The actual amount they provide depends on your finances and is decided via a financial assessment.
If as a result of the financial assessment the council decides you are in a position to pay all the fees yourself, it will probably give you a list of homes in your area and let you arrange everything yourself. If you're unable to do this due to some incapacity or frailness, then the council is obliged to find a nursing care home
for you though you're still liable for all fees.
Even if your council is assisting with fees, it doesn't mean you're obliged to choose one of their homes. You can choose any one that accepts such funding though the council will need to be sure that the home is suitable for your specific needs and the charges are standard.
Please remember this is a general overview of the financial situation regarding nursing homes. The actual procedure can be quite complex. For the up-to-date complete picture, you need to contact the social services department of your local council directly. Then youll be better able to find a nursing home that fits your needs.
by: Michiel Van Kets
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