Offering care services across England, we enable our clients to live safely and independently at home. We care for the elderly and support young adults and children. Our specialisation is in nursing and complex care services.
When planning long-term care and support for a loved one, it is sensible to start thinking about financing the care they need as soon as it is practically possible.
At Prestige Nursing & Care we have been helping families up and down the country to understand how they can finance home care, whether that is through funding available to them, or financing initiatives that can contribute to the cost of care.
If you are living with a complex care need and require nurse-led care, it is worth exploring whether you are entitled to any healthcare funding first as this could considerably contribute to the overall cost of care, if you are assessed as having an identified healthcare need. Depending on your financial circumstances you may also find that you could be entitled to social care funding. If you are a child or an adult living with a disability or long-term illness, or an older person who needs care and support for day-to-day tasks and activities to enable you to maintain independence, then you may be entitled to Government funding and support from your local authority.
For many families however, they find they do not qualify for any funding to contribute to their overall cost of care and are faced with financing care themselves. This is referred to as private pay or self-funding care. Here we explore some of the options available to you to help finance the care and support you need now and in the future.
IMMEDIATE CARE FEES ANNUITY
An immediate care fees annuity, or care fees annuity as it is commonly referred to, is an insurance policy that provides regular income for your care fees in exchange for an upfront lump sum investment. When used for self-funding long-term care they provide guaranteed income for life to cover your care costs. An annuity can be used to cover the total cost of your care, or part of your care costs, with the rest made up from other resources, like income or savings. The income from the plan is tax free and usually paid directly to your care provider. The income will also increase inline with inflation, or a set amount each year, to ensure it meets future rises in your cost of care.
The pricing of a care fees annuity is based on the amount of income you need to meet your care costs, and the insurance companies assessment of how long you are likely to need it for, so you are covered for the rest of your life.
Care fees annuities are not suitable if you do not need care immediately, or if you think you will only need care for a short amount of time or you require respite care.
It is important to research the best policy to meet your specific needs and there are specialist care fees advisors that can help give you guidance and advice. The Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA) is an independent body made up of specialist advisors who can support you with decisions on financing long-term care. The UK Care Guide is a useful resource that will help you to make the right decision.
FINANCING AN IMMEDIATE NEEDS ANNUITY
If you have decided that an immediate needs annuity is suitable for you to finance the cost of care, you have a couple of options you could explore to raise the capital needed to purchase the plan, if you do not have sufficient savings or income to do so.
Equity Release Schemes
If you have paid off your mortgage or nearly paid off your mortgage, you could use equity release to fund your care fees, or to purchase a care fees annuity. Equity release enables you to benefit from the value of your home by accessing some of the money tied up in it without having to move out. It works for many families looking to finance the cost of care delivered in their own home. The amount you will be able to release will depend on your age, health, how much your home is worth, and the type of equity release plan you decide on.
One of the most common equity schemes used to finance long-term care is a lifetime mortgage, which is a loan secured against your home. The loan can be drawn down in either a lump sum or over a set period of time. There is interest charged on the loan, which families will either pay, or let it accrue or roll up. When you pass away or move out the proceeds of sale are used to pay off the loan and any interest accrued, with the balance of the proceeds going to the beneficiaries.
The Money Advice Service provides a wealth of information about the types of equity release schemes you could consider to self-fund the care you need.
Downsizing your home
Another option you could consider would be to downsize and sell your home to release capital to purchase a care fees annuity. It might also be an opportunity to move somewhere that better meets your care and support needs now, and in the future, or to be closer to family members, friends or loved ones. It is worth considering the space that you would need to retain if your care needs were to increase, for example if you think you may need live-in care in the future. You will then need to be able to accommodate a carer who will live with you.
Equity release vs. downsizing
You will need to consider carefully when self-funding your care which approach would best meet your needs now, and in years to come.
Equity release schemes are likely to let you raise more capital than would be afforded to you if you downsized your property. However, with equity release schemes if you need care for a long period of time, by the time you sell the property the cost of the loan and the interest could result in all of the proceeds of sale being used to pay the loan back and interest. This would of course impact the value of your estate and what beneficiaries would receive. Downsizing would be a more cost-effective option and allow you to retain your estate for your family members and/or beneficiaries.
Get in touch with our friendly care experts to discuss self-funding care at home or contact a location near you. We provide impartial guidance and advice, so you make the right choice for you and your family.
Tips for winter wellbeing from our expert Dr. Sue Jones
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. In the UK we get most of our vitamin D from being outside in the sunlight. Between October and early March, the sunlight does not have enough UVB radiation for our skin to be able to make vitamin D.
We still need vitamin B in winter, to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from the foods we eat. If we do not get enough of these minerals we can have problems with our bones, teeth and muscles. Strong bones and muscles help us maintain our mobility and independence. People with higher levels of vitamin D have been found to be less likely to have dental problems and gum disease.
Vitamin D is so important for our health, it is often added as a supplement to our foods. Some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives will have vitamin D added. You can also get vitamin D from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Red meats, liver and eggs also contain vitamin D.
Other benefits of vitamin D are being investigated and include its potential role in helping maintain our mood and mental wellbeing and boosting our immune system.
The Department of Health recommends some groups of people should take vitamin D supplements, especially in winter. Children under 4 years old and people who are not able to spend time outside regularly are advised to take a supplement. If you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. It is advisable to speak to your GP or pharmacist if you think you may benefit from taking extra vitamin D, and heed their advice about the right dose for you. Remember to store any supplements out of reach of children or pets.
We shared some tips and advice to help mentally prepare people that have been shielding or in a small bubble throughout lockdown in the below article. here we are sharing some advice regarding physical strength as lockdown restrictions ease. ‘Shielding at home’ involved staying indoors, not having visitors, and not taking part in usual activities outside the home. This has led to people being significantly less physically active.
Older adults already have less muscle mass when compared to younger people and the inactivity imposed by lockdown can have negative consequences for health, such as becoming frailer, losing confidence with walking, and being at greater risk of serious diseases such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. We also need to be outside regularly to absorb vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for our bone and muscle health and it is likely that older adults who have been shielding have had less time in the sunlight.
Regular exercise is key for bone and muscle health. Taking our clients for short strolls is a really good way to start rebuilding their muscles. For the more able, joining a local walking group can be a good way to meet new people and get some gentle exercise. Walking for health can help you find a local group https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/