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New care cap makes care in your own home more affordable

New thresholds for care funding are due to come into effect in April 2016, making home care more affordable for the 60% of older people who need care services.

In the current system, anyone with assets above a certain figure (currently £23,250) are required to pay for their own care. These costs are unlimited, and one in ten currently spend in excess of £100,000 on care bills.

When the new system comes into effect in April 2016, care costs for over 65s will be capped at £72,000. Under the new system, once an individual’s care costs reach £72,000, any additional costs will be covered by the government.

Although the move has been welcomed, there are a number of conditions to the cap. The first is that costs only count towards the cap once the individual’s needs have been assessed as ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’, and many are likely to need care before this point. The second is that capped costs only cover costs for care, not living costs like accommodation, food and bills.

These additional living costs mean those in care homes will need to pay £230 a week which will not contribute towards the capped amount, nor will it be covered by the government once the cap is reached. However, the change is good news for the million people across the UK who receive care services in their own home, as they are set to benefit most from the new system.

Although people receiving care at home will need to pay their living costs, most will be spending less than £230 a week, leaving them substantially better off. They will also be able to remain in their own homes, which removes the stress and trauma of having to relocate in later life.