Care home fee reforms – as good as they seem?

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The Government has announced that it will spend an extra £1 billion a year by 2020 in supporting older people with their care costs. The reforms to the funding of elderly care will take effect in 2017, and include the welcome news that there will be a cap of £75,000 on the total amount that an individual will have to pay for their care.

Currently,  the  cost of paying for care is open-ended to those whose assets exceed £23250 – and with average costs of residential care exceeding £500, and an average weekly cost of £750 for nursing care (according to a survey by Laing and Buisson), the cost of care soon racks up.

However, whilst all this sounds like a vast improvement on the current situation,  it should be noted that the cap applies only to the care element of the cost of care, so other costs such as food and rent are not included in the cap – the government is recommending a cap on these costs of about £12,000 a year, which would need to be paid by residents regardless of whether the £75000 cap has kicked in. This would mean that someone in a care home for 10 years may have to pay up to £120,000 in addition to the £75,000 cap.

If you, or a loved one, are considering moving into residential or nursing care, then talk to a member of our elderly client services team, who will be able to explain the impact of the new reforms and help you to plan effectively for the future, ensuring that you safeguard your assets as far as possible. Call Sara Jane or Kate now on 01282 433241 (Burnley) or Jean on 01282 684500 (Colne).