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Elderly Care at Home: What are the Costs?

It’s a huge worry when our loved ones become unable to cope on their own. Whether you live nearby or at the other end of the country, many people experience a feeling of helplessness that they are unable to provide the level of support that a relative requires, along with a desire to help to find an appropriate solution to the problem.

No Need for a Care Home

Thankfully there are now a number of good alternatives to nursing or care homes. Many elderly people live in fear of ‘going into a home’, and relatives are desperate to avoid making poor choices for their loved ones. The rise in elderly care at home means that more and more people in need of care are now able to continue living in their familiar surroundings, thanks to the assistance of live-in care workers who provide 24/7 care and support.

In-home Care

Unlike in care homes, a live-in carer is resident at all times in your relative’s home, providing ongoing support and assistance whenever it is required. Your relative is able to form strong bonds of friendship with the caregiver, enabling him or her to carry on with independent living, but with assistance to complete difficult tasks – from cleaning, to shopping, to personal care.

With live-in elderly care at home, even those with memory problems can stay in their own homes thanks to caregivers with specialist knowledge of dementia care and Alzheimer’s care. This can be a huge relief to relatives who worry about how their loved ones are coping with the onset of age-related problems.

Coping with Costs

The first step is to ask your local social services department to assess your relative’s needs and requirements. The help that they are prepared to offer varies according to your local authority, but an assessment will indicate whether your relative is eligible for any funding. Every local authority has a duty to meet eligible needs, but your relative will need to undergo a financial assessment to establish how much funding, if any, will be available.

Most local authorities determine a personal budget for applicants for home care services, which allows you and your loved one to arrange your own care package, so check whether this is applicable to your situation. Bear in mind that if you choose to employ a personal care worker yourselves, then you will be liable for pension contributions if your employee earns more than £10,000 per year. Of course, if you go via an agency, then this does not apply, as the agency is liable for the pension contributions.

Depending on your relative’s circumstances, he or she may need some property modifications made in order to remain at home, and social services will consider whether financial assistance can be made available for adapting the home, perhaps by the installation of a stair lift, or by making alterations to the bathroom, for example.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Check for Benefits Entitlement

Anyone over the age of 65 who requires personal care assistance qualifies for Attendance Allowance benefit (AA). Those under the age of 65 may qualify to receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP), so do check whether your relative falls into either of these categories. Also bear in mind that circumstances change, so if your relative’s health deteriorates then it’s well worth asking for another assessment at a later date.

Paying Your Own Way

Local authorities will assess your relative’s financial situation after studying their savings, expenditure and income. They won’t usually take the value of your relative’s home into account when making their calculations.

Even where some financial support is available from your relative’s local authority, there is no obligation to choose a local authority care package, and you and your relative are free to employ whomever you choose to deliver in-home care.

Many elderly care at home solutions are funded partly by the care recipient and partly by relatives, depending on personal circumstances. The costs of private live-in care can vary quite widely, depending on your love one’s location and the type of private care package that you select.

When choosing a live-in home care provider, it’s important to establish exactly what costs you can expect to pay and what that covers. You will need to check whether extra payments are required for weekends and public holidays, and whether there will be any additional costs.

Arranging elderly care doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you make sure you are armed with all the necessary facts from the start of the process. Arranging for your loved one to carry on living in a much-loved home, surrounded by personal belongings and mementoes can be an extremely positive experience for all concerned.

Just make sure that you and your relative receive all the financial help to which you are entitled, and keep the social services department up to date with any changes in circumstance which could affect your relative’s benefits.

Do you need a carer?

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0333 241 3141

Give us a call and one of our specialist care team will get in touch

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"I love knowing someone is going to bed happy at night because they have a great carer."

Bridget, Care Professional at Elder

Bridget Elder Carer

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