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 care, whether that is through funding available to them, or financing initiatives that can contribute to the cost of care.
If you need care and support for day-to-day tasks and activities to enable you to maintain independence, then you may be entitled to social care funding to get the help you need. 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. Here we explain all you need to know about your social care funding options.
WHAT IS SOCIAL CARE FUNDING IN ENGLAND?
Social care funding is means tested and allocated by your local authority. The level of funding you might be entitled to depends on your financial circumstances, as well as your care and support needs. Social care funding is provided to people to help them with everyday activities and tasks. If you need help with feeding, continence management, washing or dressing, then you could be entitled to social care funding, if you do not exceed the financial threshold level in the means test.
WHAT IS SOCIAL CARE FUNDING IN SCOTLAND?
Unlike in England, if you live in Scotland funding for personal care is available to everyone who is assessed as needing it. Your income, capital assets, marital or civil partner status do not impact your ability to access this funding from your local authority. An assessment for funding in Scotland will look at your needs relating to personal hygiene, continence management, food and diet, problems with mobility, counselling and support and nursing, including clinical interventions required.
If you require daily support with housework, laundry and shopping, activities outside the home, or providing food then these may well be chargeable and will be subject to a means test assessment, which looks at your income when assessing the funding available.
HOW WE WORK WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES?
At Prestige Nursing & Care we have developed strong relationships with many social services case managers that are based on a shared goal of securing the right funded care package for clients that mean they get the right care, at the right time, for all of life. We work in collaboration to ensure that the care and support provided evolves with changing needs. Throughout the process we engage with our client and their family so everyone is involved in making sure our client can live a meaningful and fulfilled life, with independence, whilst their family gets all the support they need.
SOCIAL CARE FUNDING MEANS TESTING
Means testing is the method by which your financial eligibility to receive funding for your care is assessed. The outcome of the means test will determine how much social care funding you are eligible to receive.
Your local authority will look at your income, savings, and property to determine how much you need to contribute to the cost of your care. If you are receiving care in your own home, then the means test will not consider the value of your property. However, if you move permanently into a care home, the means test may include the value of your property, which may reduce the level of funding available to you.
If you are moving into a care home, your home will not be included in the means test if you home remains occupied by:
Your partner or spouse
A close relative who is either over the age of sixty or incapacitated
A relative younger than sixteen whom you are legally obliged to support
An ex-partner if they are deemed a single parent
Below is an example of how the means test is applied in England.
Costs to be met by you
You will need to meet the full cost of your care and support
The local authority will fund part of your care and support, you will need to meet the rest.
Less than £14,250
Full social care funding will be provided.
If your home remains occupied by your partner or spouse, a close relative who is either over the age of sixty or incapacitated, a relative younger than sixteen whom you are legally obliged to support or an ex-partner if they are deemed a single parent, your home will not be considered in the means test.
HOW IS SOCIAL CARE FUNDED IN THE UK?
PERSONAL HEALTH BUDGETS
If you are an adult eligible social care funding you will be offered the choice of receiving your funding through a personal health budget (PHB). The purpose of a PHB is to give those living with long-term health conditions and disabilities choice and control over how their funding is spent on their health and well-being needs.
Social care funding is provided by your local authority and there are options as to how you manage your funding and care arrangements:
You or your representative receives the funding directly to procure and manage the care, support and services you need. Whilst there are procedures to follow and guidance governing how it is spent, this gives you more freedom and control to decide what is best for you. You will have to provide evidence as to how the direct payments have been spent.
Third-party personal health budget
An independent organisation, for example a lawyer will hold the funding on your behalf and arranges and pays for the care and support you need as identified in a plan of care.
Notional personal health budget
The funding available to you based on your assessed needs will be managed by your local authority, or your NHS team. They will arrange the care and support you need, including choosing the care provider and pay for the care directly, which means you do not get any funding directly.
If you manage your own personal budget you will be free to choose the provider you wish to receive care from, where as if the local authority manage it through your social services team you will be restricted to using a provider from their preferred supplier list. However, it is worth noting that you can be rest assured that the care providers on the social services approved suppliers list will have gone through rigorous checks for safety and compliance.
ACCESSING SOCIAL CARE FUNDING IN ENGLAND
There are a series of steps involved in securing social care funding.
Firstly, speak to your GP. If they feel you are eligible, they will refer you to your local authority
The adult services team at your local authority will then arrange for an assessment of your care needs
A report is produced defining your assessed care and health needs
A financial assessment (means test) will be conducted to determine your ability to pay the cost of the care you need. All your personal assets, liquid and fixed are considered in the process
The results of the means test will determine whether you are eligible for part of full social care funding, or you whether you will need to self-fund the care you need
ACCESSING SOCIAL CARE FUNDING IN SCOTLAND
In Scotland you can access social care funding by taking the following steps:
The first step is to contact your local authority social services team to arrange an assessment
The social services team will then arrange for an assessment of your care needs
A report is produced defining your assessed care and health needs
If you are assessed as needing personal care or nursing care, this will be funded by the local authority, however the cost of any other care and support needs may need to be funded by you
If you have a child under the age of 16 who has complex care needs and requires more support from you than a child without the disability, you may be eligible to claim DLA
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults
A new Government social care funding scheme called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing the DLA for adults over 16 with a disability or a long-term condition. This is available to adults until state pension age.
The Attendance Allowance benefit for people of state pension age or older who require care and support or have a disability and need a family member to look after them regularly.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If you are unable to work due to long-term illness or disability you may be entitled to ESA.
SOCIAL CARE FUNDING RESOURCES
If you require independent information and advice about your home care funding options, there are number of charities and advisory services that can provide you with valuable guidance, including:
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/
One in three people in the UK will develop dementia, 66% of them women. If the symptoms of dementia are detected in the early stages, people can develop strategies and access help and support to ensure they continue to enjoy a good quality of life.