Domiciliary care, or home care, can be a fabulous alternative to a ‘traditional’ residential care home although there are some considerations to factor in before making the decision. Trying to calculate home care costs in the UK can be difficult because there are so many variables.
Home care is often the preferred choice for people who wish to stay in their own home for as long as is practical. There are also lots of different options depending on the nature of the care required. Whatever the care, there is a cost implication, so financial planning is advisable in advance.
Seek professional help in planning for your care from a suitably qualified financial advisor who can help you find an appropriate way of funding the care. As a starting point, understand what sort of care you require because that will impact the cost dramatically; companionship costs in the region or £15 per hour, whilst more intense nursing will be closer to £30 per hour. The average works out around £18-20 per hour. If you assume that your care will run to around 2 hours each day, or 14 hours in a week, you could be looking at fees of £1,100 each month, and over £13,000 annually. Set a budget up front.
When it comes to planning ahead, remember that your current situation might change and you will likely require more intensive support as you get older. Whilst you might not want to think about that now, planning ahead allows you more control.
A Care Needs Assessment will determine your ability to pay for your care. If you are looking to arrange your own care at home, and you still have a partner living at home (or a child, or relative aged 60+ or living with a disability) your home is excluded. There is a limit to income and capital of £23,250 after which you would be expected to fund your own care, although there might be circumstances in which you can get some assistance from your local authority, and there are some ongoing conditions wherein patients might be eligible for ongoing NHS funding.
There are various allowances that you might be entitled to, or that a friend or relative might be entitled to claim if they are responsible for delivering your care themselves.
There are calculators available that can help give a more accurate estimate of the potential costs of home care in the UK by asking a series of questions that can narrow down the options.
If you need to raise funds, releasing equity in your home might be an option, and that is certainly something that should be discussed with your financial advisor. You might want to use that just to pay fees of a carer, but it could also be used to make modifications to your home to allow you to stay there longer.
You should also consider making a will if you have not done so already, to help determine what should happen to your assets when you pass away. Without one, the government - not your partner - makes the decision.