Elderly care in our geographically displaced society has become a necessity in recent generations. Where once we all lived close to our older family member it was commonplace for adult children to care for their elderly parents and even other elderly relatives. Now many people no longer live close to parents and many people who have elderly parents are working full-time so do not have the time or resources to provide the care. It must also be said that in many modern societies adult children may not be willing to provide the cae their parents need.
So we now see a proliferation of residential care homes and other types of care such as home care and live-in care designed to provide the care our elderly people need.
But that care needs to be carefully planned if it is to provide a good quality of life for people in their golden years. Both the type of care and, perhaps most importantly, how it is going to be paid for.
It makes sense to start thinking about your care options now so that you are better informed when the time comes to make a decision about the best choice of care for you. This is relevant whether you’re considering a residential care home, home care services or live-in care as an option to stay in your own home.
Planning for the cost of elderly care
Existing Financial Assets
When you have financial assets over a certain threshold then you’re unlikely to receive financial help from the government towards paying for your care. Some people may well be entitled to financial help but that tends to be only those with little in the way of savings and other assets. As a general rule, expect to have to contribute something towards your elderly care and be prepared for that to be a significant sum because care is very expensive.
Whilst you may have assets over the current threshold for a care contribution from the government there are often other financial benefits that elderly people are entitled to that can help out financially. Some such benefits in the UK are: Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. These could all make a difference to your overall cost of elderly care.
Where You Live
You will not be surprised to discover that care home and live-in care costs vary depending on which part of the country you live. The South East, as always, if the most expensive region within the UK so make sure you find out the average cost of care in your particular region and your more local area. Where there is a shortage of love-in carers or places in care homes then the cost is likely to be higher.
If, like many people, you wish to remain in your own home then you will need a fairly accurate idea of how much this would cost compared to, say, a nearby residential home. Whilst there are guides to costs (from the UK Care Guide for instance) these are usually in quite a large rage and depend on the specific care needs so make sure you are comparing like with like when it comes to care choices.
The decision about your care should be made in conjunction with your family and friends, and maybe also your social worker and your doctor. Talk to people you trust to help you make such an important decision.