Care in later life

You (or a family member/close friend) may need care in later life and planning what to do can often be very stressful. You will be faced with several decisions and you may be unsure who to talk to and where to start, particularly when it comes to sorting out how to pay for care for as long as it’s needed.

NHS Continuing Care

NHS Continuing Care relates to the treatment of complex and long term medical conditions. If you need a lot of nursing support, NHS Continuing Care can arrange and fully fund your care for you outside of hospital. Most people with long-term-care needs don’t qualify for NHS Continuing Care. There’s no clear-cut list of health conditions or illnesses that qualify for funding and not everyone with ongoing health needs will be eligible.
The assessment is quite strict, and being frail isn’t enough. But don’t let that put you off. Free healthcare could be worth thousands each year, so it’s important to find out where you stand. The only sure way to know if you’re eligible for free NHS Continuing Care is to ask your GP or social worker to arrange an assessment.

Social Care

You will need social care in later life if you become frail and elderly, vulnerable or have any special needs, to enable you to live life as fully and independently as possible.

Your local authority (council) is responsible for providing Social Care services for those who need social care and are eligible for care.

Applying for social care

You will need to complete a ‘needs and financial assessment’, which your local authority will assess and decide if they will pay for some or all of the care and support you need. Most people have to fund all or part of their own social care (known as ‘self-funders’). The cost of self-funding can be very high and vary depending on where you live.

Cost of care

The average cost of home care is approximately £11,000 per year for 2 hours care each day. A live-in carer who will look after you 24 hours a day will cost a lot more: approximately £30,000 per year for a full-time carer during the day and up to £150,000 per year for carers day and night.
If you need residential care the cost can vary greatly by location and whether or not you require nursing or not. On average you can expect to pay around £28,000 year for a residential care home, rising to over £37,500 if nursing is required*.
You can get an idea of the cost of residential care locally and whether or not you are likely to qualify for local authority support here »

There are a lot of companies, charities and foundations who can offer guidance for anyone detailing with their or the care of another in later life. We have listed a few organisations below who will be able to offer more information:

PayingForCare is a not-for-profit organisation designed to help individuals make more informed decisions about the arrangements and funding for their long-term care. The site is equally useful for Powers of Attorney and family members and friends.

The site endeavours to give balanced, up-to-date advice on the complex subject of long-term care, specifically care payment, through careful, continuous research and collaboration with care fees experts and respected support organisations. PayingForCare offers help, information and advice about long term care and enables those that need regulated financial advice to make contact with specialist care fees financial advisers.

SOLLA is a not-for-profit organisation, established to meet the need of consumers, advisers and those who provide financial products and services to the Later Life market.

Its aim is to ensure that consumers are better informed about the financial issues of later life and can find an Independent Financial Adviser who holds the Later Life Adviser Accreditation.

First Stop Advice is a comprehensive one-stop advisory service for older people, their families and carers covering housing, care, money and rights.

First Stop Advice brings together the skills of some of the UK’s most respected organisations working in partnership for the benefit of older people. 

Millions of people are caring for an elderly relative, a sick friend or a disabled family member.

They do it unpaid and often without support. Carers UK is the voice of carers. We improve their lives by providing information, advice, support and by campaigning for change.

Age UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most out of later life.

Expert advice on how to get the care and support you need.