Cost of long term care

Long Term Care Planning

We are an ageing population and it is predicted that by 2034, 5% of the total population – that is some 3.5 million of us – will be aged over 85.

Governments have realised that it is not going to be possible for the NHS to cover the expected costs of long term care support.

Currently the costs of long term care needs are split between the NHS and Local Authorities:

  • NHS will cover all costs if the need for care is medical – this is known as ‘Continuing Care’ or ‘Fully Funded NHS Care’.
  • Local Authorities are responsible for providing assistance for adult social care needs.

The problem area lies within the adult social care needs because although each Local Authority has to carry out an assessment of care needs, they will each have their own eligibility criteria as well as ability to decide which services they are prepared to offer.

In order to decide who qualifies for free care the NHS in England has two main checklists but due to the tough definitions of these checklists it is found that most people do not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare, so you will then become the responsibility of your Local Authority.

The Local Authority will make an assessment to determine not only what type of care you require but, and probably more importantly, whether you will need to fund some or all of the care needed. For the tax year 2018/19 you will only get your care paid by the Local Authority if your combined assets and income are less than

England £23,250

Wales £24,000 (care at home) or £40,000 (care in a care home)

Scotland £27,250

Northern Ireland £23,250

These figures include the value of your home so if your assets are over this threshold you will have to pay for all of your own care costs.