Information about paying to live in a care home.
Care homes may be an option if you can't manage at home and other housing options are not right for you. However they are not the right choice for everyone. You will get support and perhaps some companionship, but you are likely to give up some independence. There will be compromises about what you can do and when, compared to living in your own home.
We have found that many people go into a care home before they need to. This means that they might spend much more money, often life savings. If you move into a care home funded from your savings, there may come a time when you can no longer afford to stay there and you may need help from the council. If this happens we might be able to help, but we have a limit on how much we will pay for a care home place. This means that you might not be able to continue to stay in the care home of your choice.
Therefore it is important to consider all care and support options before making a decision.
With the right help and support, many people can live safely and independently in their own home.
Take a look at finding help to see what types of help and support are available to you.
There are other housing options you may want to consider before settling on residential care.
Choosing a care home
Choosing a care home is a big decision, we have information and advice.
The cost of residential care homes can vary depending on where it is and what facilities are offered.
The care home fees should cover your accommodation, food and the care you receive from staff. You may need to pay separately for things like newspapers, outings or services such as chiropody and hairdressing.
It's important to note that care homes normally increase their fees each year.
Independent financial advice is always available to guide you through your financial options. There may be a number of solutions to retaining your capital whilst paying for care.
We also have information on financial care planning.
Our top ten things to think about will help you to plan your future care, even if you don't need support at the moment.
Help from the council
It is important to understand that most people will have to pay something towards the cost of their care. If you have less than £23,250 in capital/savings, the council may contribute financially towards your care costs after we have carried out an assessment of your care needs and finances.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC)
NHS Continuing Healthcare may help you if you have mostly healthcare needs and need a nurse to support you rather than a carer.
NHS-funded nursing care (FNC)
NHS-funded nursing care (opens in a new window) may be an option if you are not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare but you have been assessed as having care needs.
Most people don't need a separate assessment for NHS-funded nursing care. If you're eligible, payment will be made directly to your nursing home.
If you own your home
If you're moving into residential care, the value of your home is included in the assessment of your capital unless a partner, relative who is over 60 or disabled, or any child(ren) you have who are under 18 are still living there.
If you sell your property, the proceeds from the sale will be taken into account as part of your capital.
A Deferred Payment Agreement is an arrangement with us to use the value of your home to pay towards your residential care home fees.
Third party contributions
You can choose to go into a more expensive home if someone else like a relative, friend or charity is willing to pay the difference between the council's rate and your chosen home's fees. This is called a third party top-up arrangement and can be used if you:
- would prefer to live in a care home that costs more than the council is prepared to pay or for extras, such as living in a larger room or having a better view
- want to live in a more expensive area to be closer to family or friends and this wasn't identified in the needs assessment
- were self-funding but are now eligible for local authority funding and want to stay in the same home
The person making the additional top-up payment will have a separate legal agreement with the Council and must:
- be able to keep up the payments or you could be asked to move into a cheaper home
- be prepared to meet the cost of future increases in the payment when fees are reviewed
You are not allowed to make this additional payment from your own money except in very limited circumstances if we have already assessed your contribution as the maximum you can pay.