Moving to a care home
If possible and if it is your choice to do so, we will support you to continue to live in your own home for as long as you wish.
You may need to go into a care home for a short time to recover from time in hospital, to recuperate from illness or for a break. Afterwards, we will help you to return home.
However, some people do need to move into a care home for longer-term care if they can no longer be supported at home.
Anyone can ask us for advice and can request an assessment of their care and support needs. Even if you think you are not eligible for council funding, we would strongly urge you to consider asking for an assessment.
Moving into a care home is a big decision and you may wish to speak to other people and organisations (for example, a solicitor, the local Citizens Advice Bureau, family and friends) for impartial advice before making a decision.
We can also carry out a benefit check to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to and help you maintain your independence.
Short-term care home stays
If you need an Intermediate Care service at Sir John Mason House you will not be charged for the first 6 weeks of this service, as this is part NHS funded. It is a time limited service to aid your recovery or prevent a hospital admission. If your service extends beyond 6 weeks a charge will then apply.
For all other short-term care home stays arranged by us, we ask you to fill in a Customer Financial Statement [PDF, 146Kb] form. We will use this to decide how much you should pay towards the fees. If you have more than £23,250 in savings it will be the full cost. If you own your own home we do not include it in the short stay financial assessment.
If you already have community services funded by us and you are assessed to make a contribution, we ask that you to continue paying that for up to 28 days or until your community Personal Budget is ended (whichever is the earlier)
Living in a care home long-term - your options
If you are able to pay the full cost yourself, you can choose a care home within your budget and make your own arrangements. This is called self funding.
If you have capital and savings worth less than £23,250 you can apply to the council for support with funding a care home placement. We will assess your care needs and consider whether we can support you at home or if you meet our eligibility criteria for care home funding.
If you have capital and savings worth more than £23,250, including the value of any assets you may own, for example, your house, we cannot pay your care home costs.
If you have been assessed as having to pay the full cost of your residential care, but cannot afford to pay the full weekly charge because most of your capital is tied up in your home, the council can offer you a loan to fund your care costs (called a Deferred Payment Agreement).
Applying for council funding for long-term care home services
You will have to fill in a funding application (called a Customer Financial Statement, [PDF, 370Kb]) which we use to assess your individual financial circumstances and decide if you are eligible for council funding.
If you qualify for council funding we will work out how much you will have to pay towards the costs. This is based on your income and capital.
If you live in a care home there will be few other costs so we will typically expect most of your income to be used for your contribution towards the care home fees, and we will ask you to pay this directly to the care home. We will then pay the remainder of the fee to the care home.
Personal Expenses Allowance
In April 2019, this is £24.90 per week. This means that after the financial assessment to work out your contribution, you should be left with at least this amount to spend on personal items.
Third party top-up
If you choose a care home, which charges a higher fee than the council would normally agree to pay, then another person or organisation, other than yourself, will have to meet the difference. This is known as a ‘third party top-up’.
However, please make sure if someone is agreeing to do this on your behalf, that the funds are available to meet this top-up for the foreseeable future, otherwise your stay at that care home may be in danger if these additional payments are not maintained.
Nursing care costs
If you need nursing care, whether you are self-funding or council funded, the NHS will pay the additional cost. Your nursing care home can help you apply to the local NHS for this funding.
Owning a property
If you move into a care home and your partner or carer continues to live in a property that you fully or partly own, we will disregard the property as a capital asset in the financial assessment.
If someone else continues to live in the property, we will look at the circumstances involved, before making a decision on whether to disregard the property or not.
If you live in the property on your own, it will be considered as a capital asset in your financial assessment. However, the 12 week property disregard (see below) means it won't be considered for the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay in a care home.
12 week property disregard
If you own your home, it is disregarded in the financial assessment for the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay. This is to give you and your family/carers time to sort out your affairs and arrange for the property to be sold or to apply to the council's Deferred Payment Scheme.
After 12 weeks in permanent care its value is included in your financial assessment, which typically means you will not be eligible for council funding and will be required to arrange to pay the full cost of your care privately.
Deferred Payments Scheme
For people living permanently in a care home whose property is taken into account the Deferred Payment Scheme can allow them to ‘defer’ paying part of their costs until the value is realised.
In effect, the council pays the remainder of your care home fees until the capital is available. This 'loan' is secured against your property.
More information about the scheme is available on our Deferred Payment Scheme page or you can call the Financial Support Team on 01724 298071.