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Now that we are an ever-aging population who have a desire to maintain both independence and quality of life at home, it is important for us to understand how homecare funding works. Whether this is for parents, spouses or for ourselves, navigating the financials of homecare can be a scary thought. This blog aims to clear up and provide insights into the options available.

Understanding Homecare Costs

Homecare includes a variety of services which are tailored to each individual’s’ needs, whilst also allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own home at the same time. The services include assistance needed with personal care, help with household tasks, medication management, companionship and many more, all tailored to each person’s needs.

When it comes to the cost of homecare, it can vary on a case-by-case basis, such as the level of care that is required, how often the visits are needed and the geographic location.

Exploring Funding Options

There are a variety of different funding options available, meaning there is a homecare funding option out there for everyone. There are four main types of funding options available, local authority funding, means tested support, NHS continuing healthcare and self-funding.

1. Local Authority Funding

Your local authority may be able to provide you with funding for your homecare, where you meet specific eligibility criteria. This is primarily based on the combined care and financial needs of the individual. Eligibility assessments are carried out in order to determine the level of support the individual requires along with the financial assessments to decide how much the local authority can contribute towards the cost of the person’s care.

Local authority funding will aim to ensure that the individual will receive the care that they need at home, even if they have access to limited financial resources.

2. Means-Tested Support

Individuals may also be eligible for means-tested support. This is where the local authority will assess their income, and savings or assets that they may have. Assets include any property, including the family home, that the individual may own. This assessment will help the local authority determine the level of financial assistance that the person will qualify for.

Means-tested support can help to cover either a portion, or in some cases, all the homecare costs, but this depends on the individual’s own financial circumstances.

3. NHS Continuing Healthcare

NHS continuing healthcare is a funding package that has been provided by the NHS for those who have complex needs that will require them needing ongoing care at home. The way that the eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare is carried out is by assessing the individual’s healthcare needs, focusing mainly on the medical rather than other social care requirements.

This funding will cover the full cost of that person’s care, which will include any homecare services, for those who qualify and meet the eligibility criteria. Continuing healthcare is not means-tested but is fully funded by the NHS.

4. Self-Funding

Individuals who have the means to cover the costs of homecare funding without any added assistance from either the local authority or from the NHS are considered to be self-funders in terms of their care. Self-funding provides the individuals with a lot more flexibility and control over their homecare funding arrangements, which will allow them to choose their preferred services, their preferred caregivers, what care and support they would like and when they want the care.

Self-funders will be able to request other types of care and support, which is not funded by the local authority and NHS, such as companionship visits, shopping support and housework. It is important for individuals to fully assess their financial situation properly and carefully to plan for potential long-term care costs well in advance.

Navigating the Funding Process

There are three main steps to follow when successfully navigating the funding process for homecare. Below are the three main steps in a little more detail. This will help you to evaluation which homecare funding option you are most likely to be eligible for.

1. Assessing Eligibility

Making sure you understand the eligibility criteria for the main funding options is a crucial part of figuring out which option is for you. This could involve an assessment of your care needs, your financial means, and any healthcare requirements you may have. This could include seeking guidance from social workers, from financial advisors, or even from healthcare professionals to help you to clarify eligibility and to also help streamline the application process. Applying for homecare funding can be daunting, so we aim to help make it a little less so.

2. Financial Planning

For those individuals who are considering the idea of self-funding or means-tested support, making sure you are proactive with your financial planning is essential. This will include exploring certain options, such as any savings you may have, investments, pensions, and benefits. Exploring these options will help you to prepare for potential homecare funding costs and to ensure financial stability in the future.

3. Seeking Professional Advice

Navigating through the different homecare funding options can be complex, which is why seeking professional help and advice from experts in eldercare, financial planning, and legal matters can help to provide people with invaluable support. Advisors are there to offer a tailored guidance, which is based on an individual’s circumstances, ensuring that you can make an informed decision about something as important as your homecare funding options.

Overall, understanding homecare funding is essential for both individuals and for their families who are seeking to maintain both their independence and their quality of life at home. By fully exploring the variety of funding options that are available, assessing the eligibility criteria, and seeking professional advice when needed, those individuals can then navigate the complexities of homecare funding with total confidence that they are making the correct decision for them.

Securing appropriate homecare funding will ensure access to quality care services that are tailored to an individual’s needs, promoting well-being and autonomy, whether this be through local authority support, NHS continuing healthcare, means-tested assistance, or self-funding.