Insight: funding your own care

Insight: funding your own care

Posted by Debbie Harris

Self-funding your care? Where do you really want to be?

Some facts and figures to help you work it out and determine whether you will be paying for your own care or not.

...What does ‘self-funding’ actually mean?

Although the phrase may have a whiff of ‘rich and famous’ about it, when applied to care and care homes particularly, the term ‘self-funders’ captures a far wider audience. Generally speaking, anyone with assets exceeding £23,250 pays for their own care, which includes pretty much everyone who owns their own home. *

* There are some caveats to this – for example: if you have a partner who lives with you, your home is not included.

What about those who can’t fund their own care?

Care costs may be met by the Local Authority or Continuing Healthcare. In these circumstances, choices may be restricted as any authority will have a budget limit. It can be worth exploring whether it’s possible to ‘top-up’ Local Authority care to expand the choices available. However, you cannot pay for that yourself; it has to be by a third party – relative, friend or other willing donor. (Substantial checks are made to ensure that any assets you may have had were not channelled to the third party at an earlier date with this in mind!)

Will a care home treat a self-funding resident differently?

It’s natural to suspect that care homes might differentiate between self-funding and Local Authority residents. Most homes have a mix of both types of resident, and in my experience – other than perhaps the size of the room in an older care home – there is no distinction made between the quality of the care or any services that either group of people may experience.  Often the staff do not know who is self-funding and who is not… they are committed to delivering care to all those who need it.

Are self-funders supporting others?

It is generally acknowledged that self-funding residents in effect subside those who are Local Authority funded. Typically, a care home will have a number of beds that need to be filled and so will take a commercial view on whether to accept the Local Authority prescribed rate for a bed, or wait for a self-funding client.  The average difference in price is 41%.

A few more facts

  • There are c. 410,000 care home residents in the UK.
  • Around 95% of beds are provided by the private sector
  • 41% of care home residents are self-funders, 49% are LA-funded of which 25% pay top-ups
  • 10% are paid for by the NHS – Continuing Health Care

For further information on self-funded care, go to NHS UK

Website posting:

Understanding the self-funding market

Here you can find out what ‘self-funding’ actually means, whether it applies to you and the choices you have as someone funding their own care.