How to stay in your home for as long as possible if you need long-term care

At a glance

  • If you need help as you age, moving into a care home or nursing home isn’t your only option.
  • There are solutions that allow you to receive care at home. These can often work out less expensive than residential care.
  • It’s always important to seek expert advice from a financial adviser, whatever your situation.

You may assume that if you needed some form of long-term care, you would have to move into a care home or nursing home. But that may not be the case: receiving care in your own home can be enough to help solve the problems you’re dealing with.

Many people also worry about having to move into residential care and therefore try to manage on their own for far longer than they need to. But they don’t need to, as in-home care is a possibility. After all, staying at home is many people’s preferred option, because nothing beats the familiarity of your own home.

What in-home care support is there?

The most important decision to make when considering your care needs is whether you can stay in your own home or need to move into a care home. The decision will be based on what you want and what care you need, as well as how much it will cost.

Our needs change as we get older, and aspects of living independently can become more difficult. However, it is possible to organise in-home support that helps you stay in your home.

In-home care support includes:

•    Making changes to your own home. This could include installing a stairlift, having grab rails fitted around the house, installing a walk-in shower with a seat, or having a personal alarm fitted for emergencies, in case you were to fall.
•    A caring professional coming to your home on a regular basis. Whether you need them for a few hours a week or several hours a day. They can provide help with cooking, cleaning, washing, dressing and lots of other things you may need support with.
•    Live-in care. A carer can move into your home and be available 24 hours a day. This could be one person who lives there all the time or several people who work on a rota basis. The cost of this is, of course, likely to be much higher than visiting care. Both visiting care and live-in care can be provided either privately by individuals or by a home-care agency.
•    Sheltered housing, which is accommodation especially designed for older people can allow you to continue living independently for longer. It usually involves a self-contained flat with a warden who will help to look after the place and an emergency alarm system should you need it. Some – but not all – also offer care services.

What are the financial advantages of in-home care?

There can be some financial advantages if you want to live in your own home for as long as possible. However, it’s important not to let saving money by staying at home sway you when working out the best form of care for you.

One advantage is that the cost of in-home care can often be lower than care-home costs. Particularly if the support you need is limited. For example, the cost for around the clock care will be significantly different than if you need a few hours a day.

Another advantage is that if you remain living in your own home, the value of the property is disregarded in the financial assessment (means test). This is used by your local authority to work out how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your own care.

You do have to be mindful that costs are very different depending on whether you need support during the day or at night, on weekdays or at weekends.

And of course, you’ll still have the cost of maintaining your house, but you do have the advantage of being in familiar surroundings.

Do I need a care-needs assessment?

In order to decide whether in-home care could work for you, it’s important to have a care-needs assessment. A financial assessment by your local authority will help to establish the best way to provide the help you need and will assess how much they’ll pay towards any long-term care. They will take into account your desire to remain in your own home for as long as possible, should that be the case.

Can a financial adviser help me?

The UK’s care system is complicated and often difficult to navigate. Taking expert advice from a financial adviser can be of value and help you stay in control of the big decisions. Plus, you’re likely to be working out your care options at a time in your life when you’re feeling highly stressed and emotional. This could lead to making poor decisions.

A financial adviser can help to give you a rational perspective on your situation. They can offer guidance on how to deal with various aspects of the care system and the best way to arrange your finances to meet your needs.

Get in touch

We can help you through the entire process, thanks to our long-standing expertise in advising people during later life and our relationship with Care Sourcer, which has extensive knowledge of the UK’s care systems.

The services provided by Care Sourcer are separate and distinct to those offered by St. James’s Place.

Source

1NHS Digital, 16 May 2023 – accessed August 2023

SJP Approved 22/09/2023

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