Help with calculating the cost of care

Working out the cost of care has never been easy. But when you're dealing with a diagnosis of dementia, it’s a subject that you can’t afford to ignore.

Research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows that the typical resident of a care home will stay there for 2 years and 4 months, and pay on average £69,000 in fees. Moreover, a typical nursing home resident will stay for 1 year and 5 months, paying on average £57,000 in fees.

These figures are eye watering and they are, of course, only an approximate guide. It’s impossible to predict how long you will need care for, and surprisingly, residential care home costs vary significantly according to which part of the country you live in.

If you have very serious and complex health needs, the NHS should pay for the nursing part of your care, but the social care aspect- such as accommodation - is means tested.

Currently anyone with assets of over £23,250 has to pay the full cost of their care. If you are being cared for in your own home, that figure only takes into account any savings, stocks or shares you have, but if you are moving into a care home the value of your home may be taken into account, depending on your circumstances.

In new measures to be introduced in April 2016, a cap of £72,000 is to be placed on the total cost of care payable by the 65s and over. However, it must be noted that the food and lodging element of fees in residential care homes is not included, and only the rate set by the council for care will count towards the cap. A flat rate of £230 a week is being proposed, which is below the figure many care homes currently charge. If you decide on a care home charging more than the council rate, you will be expected to pay the top-up charges yourself.

To help you find your way through this potential minefield, the BBC have produced an easy to use “Care Calculator”  which can help you work out the cost of care in the area of the UK in which you live. By entering your postcode, and then answering a few simple questions about your income and savings, the calculator gives you the average cost of care- whether in a residential setting or for help in the home.

Whether you’re planning ahead and trying to allocate savings to meet possible future care needs, or are looking at your immediate options and want to compare one area of the country against another, or the cost of one care home against another in the same area, the care calculator provides an immediate cost estimate and useful starting point for further investigation.

The BBC Care Calculator has been welcomed by government and charities alike.

This calculator is a fantastic resource. It gives you lots of great information and is what public sector broadcasting is all about. I’m really impressed.”

Norman LambEngland's Former Care Minister
Janet MorrisonChief Exec, Independent Age charity

Working out what to pay for care is a complex business and is often approached at a strained and emotional point in people’s lives. Anything that makes this process simpler to plan, understand and navigate is applauded.

Click here to link through to the BBC Care Calculator

For further information on Care funding and the Cap on care costs proposed for April 2016 click the link here for BBC news article :
How the cap on care costs works

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  • 23 June 2015