Long Term Care
What is long-term care?
Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person's health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform many everyday activities on their own.
How can I tell if I will need long-term care?
It is difficult to predict how much or what type of long-term care you might need. Several things increase your risk of needing long-term care.
- Age -- The risk generally increases as you get older.
- Gender -- Women are at higher risk than men, primarily because they often live longer.
- Marital status -- Single people are more likely than married people to need care.
- Lifestyle -- Poor diet and exercise habits can increase your risk.
- Health and family history -- These factors also affect risk.
How much will I need to pay for long term care?
Often, decisions have to be made quickly about your own care or that of a loved one. Thinking about the options in advance may help, including having discussions with your family. Whatever level of care or support you require will be decided following a care needs and a financial assessment. The results will determine the level of funding for:
- Your individual needs
- How much you can afford to contribute towards the costs of care yourself.
Will I be forced to sell my home?
Not necessarily. Firstly, ensure that you are claiming all the state benefits that you are entitled to claim. You may wish to consider downsizing your property, or even equity release but this should not be undertaken lightly. Seek independent advice first. There are plans available to purchase which will guarantee you a regular income, these are called Immediate Need Care Fee Payments plans, among other things.
Did you know?
There are specialist financial advisers dealing with long term care funding, often referred to as specialist care fee advisers.
How can I find out if I qualify for local authority funding for care costs?
As a general rule of thumb, if your savings and assets are worth more than £23,250 in England, you will have to pay for your own care. However, everyone is entitled to a needs assessment by the local authority regardless of their financial position.
What can I do if I don’t agree with the decision?
Challenge it! If you have an illness or disability, you may have been assessed on a good day. If you do not think that you have been offered enough financial support towards the costs, speak out.
How can I challenge a decision:
Do your research – find out about the complaints policy for the local authority. Read and understand their eligibility criteria and charging policies.
Contact your local authority – obtain a written explanation for their decision, you are entitled to this. If you consider it to be unfair, request reassessment.
Get help – contact the Citizens Advice Bureau to see if they will assist you tocomplain.
Request an independent review – if you are not able to represent yourself, appoint someone to act on your behalf
And finally, take your complaint to the relevant local government ombudsman.