As if watching your loved ones get older and less and less able to care for themselves isn’t hard enough, there are also a lot of financial implications to consider. Whether you are currently in need of financial help or not, it is essential that you know what support you and your loved ones might be entitled to, just in case.
You should keep in mind that financial help and support is available from other sources, other than the NHS and your local authority, so keep an open mind as far as local charities and third party organisations are concerned.
1. NHS care
It can very expensive to fund care for your loved one, whether they are still living in their own home, at your home or in a residential care facility. You should find out, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet, whether or not your elderly relative is entitled to NHS care.
Not everyone is eligible for NHS care but this is decided through certain criteria which your loved one may or may not meet. It is well worth investigating, however, since if they are eligible, it will remove a lot of the financial burden. NHS care, if agreed, can be provided to your loved one whether they are living at home, at a hospital or in a care home. Make sure you make enquiries with your GP for more information.
2. Continuing Healthcare from the NHS
If your loved one suffers from a severe illness and/ or has very complex health issues, it is well worth speaking to your GP about whether your relative will qualify for NHS Continuing Care. This is solely funded by the NHS and includes:
- Personal and specialist care from a healthcare professional at home.
- Home care fees, plus personal and specialist care from a healthcare professional in a care home.
Do make sure you make enquiries and get your loved one assessed; else you might end up having to spend an enormous amount on specialist equipment, medication, treatments and care staff when this could all be covered.
3. Social services
Unfortunately not everyone is eligible for free care from the NHS. If your elderly loved one has been deemed not eligible, you still have other options though, for instance Social Services. There are a few varying rules when it comes to receiving care and financial relief from Social Services and these can depend on criteria, such as whether your loved one is still living at home or in a care facility.
Depending on your loved ones circumstances, these rules will also dictate how your loved one’s income and their capital (such as their home), will be considered when receiving care from Social Services, i.e. whether they’ll have to make a financial contribution towards the care or not.
4. Alternative funding sources
- Charities: Some will be able to offer you and your loved one help when it comes to funding care. It is worth investigating this further with your local charities, as well as the UK wide ones, such as:
- Age UK
- Alzheimer’s Society
- Independent Age
- Carers UKFriends of the Elderly
- NBFA – Assisting the Elderly
- Local religious societies, e.g. your parish church. Whilst your local church may not be able to offer you a great deal of monetary help, they may be able to help in other ways which could also end up saving you money, so it is well worth asking the question if you are ever in need.