If your property has become too much for you to manage, or you simply don’t need the space anymore, then it may be time to start thinking about alternative living arrangements. Moving into a care home might be something you thought you’d never have to consider, but there are options available that will enable you to retain your independence, whilst getting any additional support you may need.
What happens first?
You will need to get a care needs assessment from the social services department of the council. A social care professional will come to your house and assess how you manage everyday tasks. If you have a relative or carer present then they can support you and tell the care professional about any issues you’ve been experiencing or health problems you have. They may need to contact your GP or community nurse for more information. Their role is to look at whether adaptations could be made to your current property or if moving to a residential care is the best route for you.
Who pays for the care home?
Once the health assessment is carried out, the council will then do a means assessment. This will check to see if you can afford to pay for your own care or if they need to offer any financial support. In the assessment they will take into consideration any income or private pensions, any capital from property, shares or savings and any benefits you receive. The value of your home will be considered as long as you don’t have a partner or spouse who is over 60 or disabled living there. The council figures out if they need to provide financial support based on the following criteria:
• if you have capital assets over £23,250 then you have to pay your own fees and are considered to be a ‘self-funder’
• if you have capital assets between £14,250 and £23,250 then you qualify for some financial support from the council
• any capital assets under £14,250 mean that the council pays your fees, but you have to contribute from any pension and benefits.
If your capital assets are between £14,250 and £23,250, you will contribute £1 a week for every £250 you have over the lower limit e.g. if you have £15,000 in savings, you would be £750 over the lower limit which works out at £3 a week in contributions towards your care and so on.
Can I sell my home?
As long as your home isn’t jointly owned by anyone else and no one over 60 or who has a disability is living in the property, then you can sell your home quickly. As mentioned before, its value will be taken into consideration during the financial assessment.
If you don’t have enough money to pay for the care home fees until you sell your property then the council can contribute towards the cost of care for 12 weeks, or until you sell your home. This is called a 12-week property disregard and gives you time to decide if you do indeed want to sell your property or you’d rather enter into a deferred payment agreement. This is a loan from the council to pay for your care home fees until your property is sold. You then pay it back upon your house sale completing. There may be a fee attached to this so you should find out from your local council before considering this.
If you want to move into a care home and have cash ready to pay for your care then The Property Buying Company can help. We will include all legal fees and, although we can’t offer you the full price of your property, we will offer you a fair price and can complete in a timescale to suit you. Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat about your options.
The advice in this article is by no means exhaustive. If you’re considering moving to a care home then make sure you do the relevant research before-hand so you can make the most informed decision for you.