Providing for later life care

22nd May 2018

Getting married, moving house, changing your job, having children; there are some times in life which are widely acknowledged to be more stressful than others. These are the times when financial pressures and uncertainties can leave us feeling rootless and overwhelmed until the kaleidoscope of life settles into a new pattern.

There is one other life changing experience which generally doesn’t make it onto the top ten of stressful experiences, but which can have a major impact across families. That is the realisation and acknowledgement that the time has come for a loved one to move into residential care. Even if the decision comes as somewhat of a relief, it can still be tinged with an element of regret that the home environment can no longer provide a safe refuge. Add in the challenge of finding a care home which not only meets physical needs but also will deliver a safe and loving environment and it is no wonder that the care home decision can be a cause of stress across families.

For those faced with a care home decision, the Care Quality Commission (CTC) not only makes care home inspection reports available on its website, it also highlights five key areas* which people should consider when they are looking for a good care home. Whilst these will help families to ensure the care and safety of their loved one, there is one other area which needs to be considered and that is the question of finance.

In their market report on care for older people published in May 2017, LaingBuisson estimated that in the south-west the weekly cost of a care home was £655, whilst those requiring nursing care would expect to pay in the region of £927 per week. The same report revealed the average length of care home stay to be thirty months, potentially leaving families with a significant funding requirement. When deciding on a care home placement, finance may be towards the end of the to-do list but in truth the sooner that an appropriate funding package is organised, the greater the chance of ensuring that finance doesn’t become an overwhelming issue further down the line.

It can be all too easy to say that the sale of a property or the use of existing investments will be sufficient to cover care costs. However, that ‘money in the bank’ may not last as long as expected, and for those with loved ones still living in the family home, the time may come when the only option is to downsize or to arrange some form of equity release simply in order to cover care costs. That’s why it is so important to consider finance options at the outset which may include appropriate investments or a long-term care annuity.

Philip Dalley, an Independent Financial Planner and Equity Release Adviser at Thompson Jenner Financial Services Ltd commented “effective financial planning could help to safeguard long-term financial needs of a care home resident, whilst potentially preserving some element of capital.”



If you would like to find out more or meet to discuss the financial services which we are able to provide, please contact Philip Dalley at either our Exeter or Exmouth office on 01392 258553 or 01395 279521 to arrange a free initial meeting.



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