Coming to terms with the fact that you need to consider care options for your relative can be difficult for you and them. Watching family members get older and more frail as the years pass is something we all, at some point in our life, will have to come to terms with. At the same time our relative will have to accept the loss of their independence as well as their family home.
Whether public or private sector, there are many care options available from care in the home, sheltered accommodation through to full-time residential care that offer various levels of support to suit the individual needs of the individual. For most people this sector is very unfamiliar territory and often, in the middle of a very emotional family time, they simply don’t know where to start.
First of all it should be comforting to know that help is available and before you begin to think about looking at care options, an assessment of the needs of your relative should to be done to not only understand the level of care necessary but to assess the if they qualify for government funding towards the cost of that care.
A local authority has a duty of care to assess those individuals living within their area that might need their services. They will evaluate the type of care needed and the best way this can be delivered. They are not able to refuse anyone who might appear to have plenty money to pay for their own care so everyone must be treated equally.
The assessment will evaluate the current state of health of the individual taking into consideration how this could change in the future and how this affects and will affect their everyday life. The authorities will also evaluate the help they receive from family and friends as this will act as a benchmark to the amount of care that is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of the individual.
A care and support plan is created which will show the appropriate level of care required suggesting whether care can be provided in the individual’s own home or if their needs would be best met by moving to one of their local care homes. A review of this report and if appropriate, a financial assessment, is then conducted to measure if they qualify for financial help from their local authority.
The financial assessment will take into consideration the capital and income of the individual. It will take evaluate total income from both state and private pensions, dividends, savings, benefits such as pension credits and allowances as well as capital from property and investments. Anyone who has capital over £23,250 will be expected to pay for their own care. If they still own their home then they will need to sell the property to pay for residential care. Changes have been made to these payments and as of April 2016, due to the passage of The Care Bill, there will be a cap of £72,000 on the amount that will have to be paid towards care costs before state funding starts. Those with assets worth £118,000 and under will also receive help.
With careful research and planning, taking one step at a time, you will be able to work your way through what can appear to be a complex area and together with the help available, you will be able to ensure your loved one is settled safely in their new home.
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