Myth busting the cost of care: residential is not always the most expensive option

When a loved one becomes elderly or requires long term care, funding those costs can quickly become a concern. However, with the right planning, you might be able to reduce the bill.

Many people choose to opt for something like residential care, although it can be daunting when the bills start to come rolling in. There is also the balance of the wants and needs of the individual who might prefer to stay in their own home, as a way of reducing the cost of care - but that should also be thought about carefully. Read more from our previous blog about the true cost of care.

Whilst you could potentially be looking at tens of thousands of pounds each year, your first port of call should always be your local council or the NHS. Much of care is means tested, however you or your loved one may be entitled to some kind of financial help.; Attendance Allowance for example is non means tested. If you or your relative has savings in the bank of less than £23,250 (in England and Northern Ireland, £28,000 in Scotland and £50,000 in Wales) and they do not own their own property, they may qualify for either all or part of the care costs to be paid by the Local Authority. For those who do not qualify, they will need to fund their own care.

Those with long-term complex healthcare needs may qualify for free care under the NHS continuing healthcare scheme. If you or a family member think this applies to them, it is worth speaking to your GP, although this is increasingly difficult to meet the criteria of having a primary health need, to qualify for this funding.

For those who may face funding care, there are a few things to consider. The obvious choice is to sell property, but this can be difficult emotionally and may not be necessary depending on the circumstances. You could also consider renting it out, downsizing; it is important to consider all options and to discuss this with your family. This will all take careful planning so it is well worth being prepared.

Remember, these are complex financial decisions and we would always recommend seeking the right financial advice from a suitably qualified Independent Financial Adviser. You can also speak to our professional team of lawyers at Downs Solicitors for more information.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office