Long-term care planning is about taking measures to ensure you are equipped for any support or services you may need in later life. It’s about ensuring any compensation award and any right to means-tested benefits are protected. It is also about maximising your financial security.

Types of care

There are various forms of care or support you might need which are likely to change with time.

Initially, independence may be your focus, so sheltered accommodation or assisted living may be appropriate. With these, help is on hand in an emergency and a warden can provide limited assistance.

Domiciliary care is an option whereby a carer can help with daily activities such as personal care, at home.

A newer form of care is emerging which is called live-in care. This is where you have a carer around the clock to assist you with day to day living.

It may be that you will only need short term care. This is known as reablement care which is centred around keeping you living independently.

A care home may be the next best step, either residential or nursing care - or both.

For anyone with a terminal diagnosis, palliative or end of life care is obtainable.

Who pays for your care?

NHS - Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC)

In some cases, NHS CHC funding is a possibility, so it makes sense to start by checking this first. As a guide, it is in place to help those with principally medical needs, rather than social.

NHS – Funded Nursing Care

If you are unsuccessful in claiming for NHS CHC, yet you need care from a registered doctor or nurse, you may be entitled to NHS Funded Nursing Care. This is an option if you are self-funding all or some of your nursing home fees to a registered provider. It is not means tested and is tax free. It is only possible if an NHS CHC assessment deems you need nursing care. Paid directly to the care home, you can’t receive any reduction for care received in your own home. Rates paid vary throughout the UK.

Local authority

Available to those needing care at home or in a care home, local authority funding is both needs and means tested. Under the Mental Health Act 1983, you may be eligible for non-means tested free aftercare.

Benefits

There are some benefits that you may be entitled to for support when you need care, either in your own home or in a residential or nursing home. Those providing gratuitous care may also be eligible for benefits. The following benefits may apply so are worth looking into:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) / Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • State Pension and Pension Credit

Self-funding

If none of the above options apply to you, self-funding – be that in part or full – will be required. This can come from your income or capital savings. Should this be the case, you may need to draw on any savings or investments you have. It may be prudent to consider an Immediate Needs Annuity if there are concerns around the longevity of these savings.

Alternatively, you may need to consider using capital that is tied up in your property. This doesn’t necessarily mean moving. There are options such as equity release. Always seek professional advice if you are considering any course of action that involves your home.

!

EQUITY RELEASE WILL REDUCE THE VALUE OF YOUR ESTATE AND CAN AFFECT YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR MEANS TESTED BENEFITS.

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