At home - personal budgets
You may choose to arrange and pay for the support and care you need privately. But if you, or someone you are supporting, needs care and support while living at home, you can ask your local Social Services for an assessment. They will assess what level of support is needed and allocate funding accordingly. You can choose how the care needs are met and by whom. You may get full or part-funding in the form of a 'personal budget' to pay for your social care, which you can have as a direct payment or can be managed for you. The funding is called ‘self-directed support’ because you can choose which services to spend the budget on.
An NHS 'personal health budget' works in a similar way, but pays for health needs. It is a sum of money that is paid to support health and wellbeing. Together with your NHS team (such as your GP) you will develop a care plan. a budget and and what it is to be spent on. You can use a personal health budget to pay for a wide range of items and services including therapies, personal care and equipment. For more information on personal health budgets, visit the NHS Choices website. Peoplehub is a not-for-profit company working to ensure that personal health budgets are rolled out correctly - you may also find their website useful. If you are in Scotland, the Scottish government website has more details.
Even if you are not eligible for funding, you are still entitled to advice from your local social services department about how best to meet your needs. You can find contact details for your local authority here.
The Alzheimer's Society has produced a very good factsheet about Personal Budgets. You can download a copy of it here.
If you are not sure what services are available in your area, or you do not know which support is right for you, you can use a support broker. They can help you to find practical solutions and fresh ideas to make your life work for you. Your local council will be able to give you details of approved brokers. You can also find local support brokers here from the National Brokerage Network.
Paying for residential care
It is possible that you will have to pay something towards the cost of care in a care home. The amount you pay depends on how much money you have. Your social services department will carry out an assessment. They will determine the level of care needed and your ability to pay for it. They will take into account your income, including any pensions or benefits you receive, and any capital you have. Your capital includes your savings, investments and can include property you own or jointly own. However, your home will not be counted as capital if any of the following people still live there
- your husband, wife, partner or civil partner
- a close relative who is 60 or over, or incapacitated
- a close relative under the age of 16 who you are legally liable to support
- your ex-husband, ex-wife, ex-civil partner or ex-partner if they are a lone parent.
Your local authority or trust might choose not to count your home as capital in other circumstances, for example if your carer lives there.
NHS continuing healthcare at home or in a care home
The NHS may be responsible for meeting the full cost of care at home or in a care home if the ‘primary need’ is health based. This is called NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) and is often described as ‘fully funded care’.
If you are not eligible for fully funded care, the NHS may still fund the nursing care needed. The NHS will carry out an assessment to determine which of these types of support is most appropriate for your situation. To find out more visit the NHS Choices website. The Care To Be Different website offers helpful advice about accessing CHC.