Are The Increasing Costs Of Residential Care Facilities Worth It?
We crunch the numbers involved when comparing the cost of residential care facilities versus live-in care in the comfort of your own home.
With the quality and cost of residential care facilities under growing scrutiny in the media, families are looking for an alternative solution to providing care for their elderly loved ones.
Does Residential Care Offer Value For Money?
Unfortunately, there have been recent horror stories in the press regarding the standard of care offered in residential facilities. This is due to secret footage that was obtained for a BBC Panorama documentary which highlighted a nurse who used morphine on a patient to “shut her up”, as well as outdated prescription being relabelled for use.
According to PayingForCare, a report by healthcare specialists Laing & Buisson in 2013, the average cost of a care home is approximately £28,500 per year. If professional nursing care is required, then the cost increases to £37,500.
Why Is It So Expensive?
Unfortunately, many people who move into residential care facilities do not qualify for funding from their local authority. Those with assets, including a mortgage-free property worth more than £23,250, are required to self-fund their stay in a care home. With everyday rising costs such as increasing wages, food bills as well as the cost of maintenance and utilities, residential care facilities are struggling to make ends meet. The Local Authority is unable to sufficiently bridge this gap, especially with council tax freezes in many areas. In order to stay buoyant, care homes are forced to charge more to self-funding residents. They end up effectively partially footing the bill for non-paying residents who are supposed to be funded by the Local Authority.
The Benefits Of Live-In Care
Whilst care homes do offer many advantages to their residents, thankfully there is another alternative available for those who require it. Many older people and their families feel grateful that live-in care at home is now a viable and affordable option. Seniors can opt to stay at home and have carers visit or move in with them either on a permanent or rotational basis. This situation offers many comforts to an older person who can stay in their own familiar surroundings, enjoy home-cooked food, and perhaps even keep a beloved pet. By opting for live-in care, the family of an elderly person also feels that they have greater control on the level of service being provided to their loved one. But how much does it cost?
Cost Of Live-In Care
The prices of live-in care vary greatly, depending on the area of the country that you are located in and whether you choose to use recommended live-in care agencies. Typically, you might be looking at a range of £500-1000 per week for a single person requiring live-in care. However, the most important fact to realise is that a much greater proportion of older people qualify for assistance with funding for live-in care, in comparison to residential care. This is because the threshold for assets does not include means-testing of the property that is to be used as a residence for the live-in care. It is only relevant for those with non-property assets of £23,250 or more. Therefore, many senior citizens who own less than this amount in assets are able to qualify for help, which makes it an option well worth looking into.
If you or a family member is considering a move to a residential facility, but are struggling to come up with a payment plan, then ensure that you also research the benefits and costs of live-in care, as this could be a much more advantageous solution for you.