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How does the 2014 Care Act affect the elderly?

Posted on 27/04/2015

Going into residential or nursing care is a naturally emotional and stressful time for all concerned, even before the question of paying for it has been raised. One of the predominant issues surrounding residential or nursing care is the amount of financial assistance offered to elderly people and their relatives when they need it.

The Care Act was introduced in 2014 in order to place more responsibility on local councils and authorities to help elderly and vulnerable people in their communities in terms of providing care services and offering facilities and services that support them in living independent lives. This includes conducting means tests and assessments to determine how much (if any) financial help should be awarded for residential care.

Caring Homes Guide on Funding

A new guide produced and published by Caring Homes, entitled “Funding the Cost of Care”, assesses what the Care Act means in detail, from the various thresholds that determine how much financial support someone is eligible for to the new regulations that will be introduced in 2016, further refining the Act and elderly social care in the UK as a whole.

Do you have to sell your home to go into care?

One of the burning questions for those who are preparing to move into a care home concerns what will happen to their home when they have moved out of it. There’s no obligation to sell your home if you don’t have to, but it will play an important role in the process whatever the outcome is.

The amount of financial help the government will award you if you go into care is determined by the amount of capital you have – your home is included in this. It will probably push your total capital past the point at which you would not be eligible for any financial assistance, therefore making sense for you to sell it and using the proceeds to fund the care home fees. However, depending on your financial circumstances, you may be able to avoid this and leave it for children or grandchildren to use or manage. One thing you can’t do, though, is deliberately deprive yourself of the asset by transferring the deeds to someone else so you receive more financial support, as local authorities can still determine that it’s your asset.

For full details on how the different levels of financial support will be decided as per the guidelines of the Care Act both now and in the future, download the Caring Homes guide today. 

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