Care home costs underestimated

Figures published earlier this year from healthcare research firm Laing & Buisson, found that the number of people in residential care rose by 2.2 per cent in the year to September 2012.

According to a recent survey of 2000 people between the ages of 45 and 65, one in four people have arranged care homes for their parents but almost half underestimated what the true cost would be.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 15 per cent of respondents expected their parents or parents-in-law to go into a care home at some point, with 13 per cent already residing in one
  • 42 per cent said the cost of a care home was higher than they expected
  • 61 per cent said taking this course of action did not necessarily make them feel better afterwards

The process of arranging residential care or nursing care is an extremely emotional one, fraught with stress and guilt. Despite the stress often being compounded by worries about the financial cost and how to meet the same, many people do not end up with the support from the state that they are entitled to as a result of failing to take appropriate advice at the outset.

This can result from failing to obtain NHS funding despite the criteria for such funding being met, a lack of understanding of what assets should be taken into consideration by the local authority in any financial assessment and/or the local authority inappropriately asking the family for a third party top up.

It is vital to get legal and financial advice at the earliest opportunity in order to avoid paying too much for care and to ensure that the best possible care is obtained for the person concerned.

At Palmers Solicitors, our sympathetic and experienced personnel in the Elderly Client department can advise on your rights regarding residential care as well as providing advice to family members around reducing the financial costs related to residential care. We are also able to refer you to an independent financial adviser for related financial advice.

For more information, please visit our website or contact our Elderly Client department.