Care and support services in the UK are not free. Most people have to pay something towards their care and you may have to pay the whole cost of your care depending on your circumstances.
Your local council may cover some or all of the cost, but the help it gives is "means-tested". That means the amount you are asked to pay depends on how much money you have and how much care and support you need.
Local Authority funding
Do I qualify for council funding? You will have to pay the full cost of your care if you have more than £23,250 in savings. If your savings are less than £23,250 but more than £14,250 then your local council will pay for your care, but you will have to contribute £1 to the fees for every £250 of savings you have.
If you have less than £14,250 in savings, your care will be fully paid for by the council. Ask your local council for a care needs assessment. If the council decides you need support, it will carry out an assessment of your finances. This financial assessment will determine if the council will pay for your care, whether you must contribute to the costs or whether you need to pay the full costs yourself.
NHS care funding
The NHS is responsible for funding certain types of healthcare equipment you may need. In some situations, the NHS is also responsible for meeting care needs. This is usually when your need is mainly for healthcare.
If you have very severe and complex health needs, you may qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. This is an ongoing package of care that is fully funded by the NHS. In some areas of the country you can arrange your NHS continuing healthcare using a Personal Health Budget (PHB).
Self-pay: funding for your own care and support
If you have more than £23,250 in savings (not including the value of your home or your pension), you may have to pay the full cost of your care. This is known as being a self-funder.
The number of people paying for their own care is growing. While some people are eligible for funding from their council, many end up paying for all their care. If you're paying for your own care, you won't require a needs assessment first - you can go directly to a home care agency like Interserve Healthcare and organise it yourself without involving social services.
But, it's a good idea to have a needs assessment before arranging your care. This will give you a clear idea of what your care needs are. An assessment with Interserve Healthcare will help find out, for example, whether you need a professional carer to come in for a few hours a day or just once a week - and what specifically they should help you with.