Making a plan for later life care

Making a plan for later life care

Questions to ask yourself when planning your future

Arriving at the right decision on care can feel like a journey - and often an arduous one, particularly when you know you will have to fund it yourself. That's why we've provided the following list of FAQs to prompt your thinking. Knowing you're not alone is always reassuring, and even if you don't need care right now, this will help the planning process.

1. What are the care options for the over 55s?

    Knowing what your options are - and what is right or wrong for you - will give you confidence and save you hours of confusion. It’s easy to be misled by title ‘care home’ which has become a catch-all term for later life care, meaning that few people recognise the variety of options available to them. 

    There are actually five major categories of care for over 55s, all tailored to different needs and stages of life and all with options for self-funders:

    • Retirement Villages
    • Assisted Living Schemes
    • Home Care
    • Live-in Care
    • Care Homes

    The care home category is comprised of homes that offer either one, or a combination, of the following:

    • Residential care
    • Nursing care
    • Respite care
    • Dementia care
    • Other specialist services

    If you are considering a care home, it’s a good idea to think about both your current and long-term needs. This is important in order to make the right decision as not every home will cater for every type of care, and the cost will vary enormously, something that, as a self-funder, you will need to build into your plan at a very early stage.

    Whether it’s for you, your partner, or a friend, you’ll find more detail about later life care options on the Autumna platform.

    2. What are the costs associated with care for self-funders?

    Funding care is a key consideration that has to be addressed as early as possible, particularly if you will be funding your own care. It’s important to consider your income and assets (property, business and any possessions of monetary value).  

    • How will you be fund your own care? 
    • Do you need to secure reliable financial advice from a professional? 

    If you need funding advice, visit our Advice Lines section or call Eldercare Solutions on 0800 082 1155. more...

    You may also like to contact a financial advisor, in which case we recommend talking to a specialist accredited by the Society of Later Live Advisers (SOLLA).

    3.  What is my legal position?

    It makes sense to find a solicitor who will represent your interests. They can help with:

    • Updating your Will
    • Securing a Lasting Power of Attorney

    The latter ensures that decisions can be made on your behalf by an appointee (should you become incapacitated). Care is expensive, and if your are paying for it yourself, you need to be able to trust that decisions that have to be made on your behalf are the decisions you would choose to make yourself.

    You can call the Law & Life Legal Advice Line on 0800 999 4437 more...

    4.  What will happen to my own home?

    • Do you own your own home? 
    • Or do you have shared ownership with a partner/spouse? 
    • Does anyone else lives with you? 
    • Do you own additional property assets? 

    These are all key questions to ask yourself. If you need guidance, call the Law and Life Legal Advice Line on 0800 999 4437

    5.  Who else do I need to think about?

    You should also consider the following aspects of your life:

    • Whether you are married, divorced or in a partnership
    • Whether your assets are formally/informally shared
    • Whether you have living dependants that you are responsible for, eg: in terms of care and/or financing

    6.  What about my ongoing health?

    Think about your current and projected health, including:

    • Existing, progressive conditions and prognosis
    • Any high-risk hereditary conditions
    • Your mobility
    • Whether you have a history of mental health issues  
    • Could I be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare or Funded Nursing Care? (see below)

    7.  How can I assess my own situation?

    It’s important to think about how you are now – and what you can do:

    • What is impossible?
    • What is becoming difficult?
    • How are your sight, hearing and mobility?
    • Are you taking regular medication?
    • If so, is it a combination of things?
    • Are there any side-effects?

    In any case, if might be a good idea to make an appointment with your GP for a Care Assessment.

    If you would like to talk through later life living options bearing in mind your current and future state of health, call the Chosen with Care Advice Line on 01892 300 530   

    8.  How can the NHS help me?

    Your GP surgery is the best place to start, and a diagnosis here may lead to treatment at an outpatient clinic. Alternatively, you might be admitted as an impatient to a general acute hospital (or a specialist treatment centre).

    NHS Continuing Healthcare

    In some cases, the NHS provides ‘Continuing Healthcare’: funding your medical treatment when they are unable to deliver it themselves. The NHS will always make sure that when you leave hospital after an emergency, an operation or any other treatment, your ongoing needs are met. Your GP can also carry out a needs assessment to determine whether or not any ongoing care is needed.

    9.  How could my Local Authority support me?

    Your Local Authority will support you in finding and funding your continued care if:

    • Assuming you are living in England, your assets are less than £23,250 (including home ownership) 
    • Your care assessment determines that you need to be looked after (at home or in residential care)

    10.  Who else should know about my situation and future plans?

    These are the people and organisations that should be made aware of your intentions:

    • Your GP
    • Existing carers
    • Assigned family member/s or friend/s
    • Your solicitor
    • Your financial adviser (if you have one)
    • Your local authority (if you are likely to need support from them)
    • Your private pension provider (particularly if there are options around how receive your pension entitlements)
    • Your employer (if you are over 55, still employed and considering immediate care provision)

    Speak to Autumna

    The team here is always happy to help in any way we can with any query you may have: 01892 335 330

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