The introduction of the new care cost cap means there are now financial benefits to receiving care in your own home, in addition to the personal benefits that come from remaining in a familiar environment.
Currently, anyone with assets over £23,250 has to pay the full cost of their care. Under the new system, anyone with assets over £27,000 will still have to pay for their care, but it will be capped at £72,000.
The new process works differently for people in care homes compared to those receiving care in their own homes. For those going into care homes, the value of their home is also considered in their assets, for those receiving home care, only savings, stocks and shares are taken into account.
Furthermore, those moving to care homes will face additional expenditure on living costs, which are not covered by the cap. This means that each week in a care home, £230 will not count towards the amount accrued towards the cap, nor will it be covered once a cap is reached. The £230 covers non care costs for accommodation, food and bills which is generally much less per person for someone living in their own home.
Another change is the introduction of deferred payment schemes. This provides an additional option for paying for home care and removes the risk of losing your home. The deferred payment scheme allows people receiving care to defer payment until after their death, at which point payment will be taken from the value of their estate. Full details of this scheme are yet to be confirmed however it is expected that an interest rate of 2.65% will be charged on the deferred amount.
The benefits of home care
The changes highlight a number of benefits for people receiving care services at home. These include:
- Less assets taken into account. As you are remaining in your home, only savings, stocks and shares are taken into account. This means you may be able to get help with care costs from the government, even if you own your own home.
- All care costs count towards cap. Unlike those in care homes, all your care costs will count towards the cap. Furthermore, once the cap is reached, all care costs will be covered by the government.
- Even more affordable for couples. In addition to being able to stay together, the cost of home care is more affordable for couples, as living costs are shared and care for couples is only nominally more expensive.
- Stay in your home. The new deferred payment scheme provides a new option for people to stay in familiar surroundings without worrying about losing their home. In addition to removing the stress and upheaval of moving to a care home, staying in your own home allows you to maintain familiar routines and privacy while surrounded the comfort of your own belongings, friends, family and pets. Staying at home can be particularly beneficial for people with dementia, where familiarity can help boost overall health and wellbeing.