Do dementia residents have to pay care home fees?

care home fees dementia

At Porthaven Care Homes, around 70% of the residents that we care for are living with dementia and due to their memory loss and other symptoms, they are often unable to manage their financial affairs alone. So, who is responsible for paying care home fees and is there any funding available for dementia-specific illnesses?

In this article, we look to answer these questions and provide further guidance to those arranging care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

How much do you pay for dementia care?

The average cost of moving into a care home varies greatly throughout different regions of the UK. Costs will also vary depending on the type of care home you choose, and the needs of the individual requiring the care.

Not all care homes are the same, and equally, everyone requiring care is unique. Although two people may have the same dementia diagnosis, their care requirements can differ. So can their weekly fees -even when living in the same care home.

At Porthaven Care homes, we always make it a priority to ensure that each of our residents receives the best care and support, tailored to their individual needs and preferences. To enable us to do this, we have developed a dependency tool that accurately calculates the exact weekly fee for each of our residents based on their individual care requirements.

Care home vs home care costs

Moving into a care home is often far more cost-effective than arranging a domiciliary care package for someone living at home. This is because the weekly fee for someone living in a care home includes not only their tailored care plan, but also their accommodation, food and drink, utilities, rent (or possibly a mortgage), and housekeeping services.

Living in a care home also has the added benefit of highly trained staff being on hand 24/7. Residents also have access to a range of daily activities and regular outings designed to stimulate and engage them – crucial to the wellbeing of those living with dementia.

Breaking costs down to an hourly rate, you can expect to pay an average of £20 per hour for care at home, covering only the basic care package. In comparison, living in a residential care home averages around £10 per hour, inclusive of all the benefits mentioned above and the added peace of mind that your loved one is in a safe environment.

Is there any dementia-specific funding available?

We often get asked if there is funding available from either the local authority or the NHS for dementia-specific conditions. The simple answer is no. Whilst government funding for dementia is available, it relates to the physical care and/or mental support someone requires. Having a dementia diagnosis alone does not guarantee funding eligibility and anyone with savings above the upper capital limit of £23,250, or someone who owns their own home, is considered self-funding under current UK guidelines.

However, anyone living with dementia is entitled to an assessment of their needs by their local authority. This is called a care needs assessment, and aims to identify what support is required, and whether funding is available for it.

What is the eligibility criteria for local authority care funding?

An individual will have eligible needs for care funding if:

  1. They have care and support needs due to having a physical or mental condition, dementia included.
  1. Their needs mean they are unable to do at least two of the following:
  2. Manage and maintain healthy nutrition—for example, buying and preparing food, eating, and drinking.
  3. Maintain their own personal hygiene—for example, washing themselves and keeping their clothes clean.
  4. Manage their toilet needs—getting to the toilet, using it, or being able to change their own incontinence pads.
  5. Appropriately dress themself in clothes suitable for the weather.
  6. Be able to make use of their home safely—for example, going up and down the stairs.
  7. Maintain the cleanliness and safety of their home, as well as managing to pay their bills.
  8. Develop and maintain family or other personal relationships.
  9. Make use of necessary services in the local community—for example, using public transport to attend healthcare appointments.
  10. Carry out caring responsibilities—caring for children or grandchildren, if any.

An individual is considered unable to do these things if:

a. They cannot do them without help.

b. They can do them without help, but it causes them pain, distress, anxiety, or puts either them or someone else in danger.

c. It takes them much longer to do than expected.

  • There is a significant impact on the individual’s wellbeing due to not being able to do these things.

NHS continuing healthcare

Eligibility for continuing healthcare requires an assessment by an NHS nurse and is dependent on a set of complex criteria. This means that it is generally only granted to people with greater needs and in the later stages of their dementia journey. Similarly to local authority funding, a dementia diagnosis alone does not mean an individual is eligible.

So, who pays care home fees for dementia residents?

Ultimately, the responsibility of paying a dementia resident’s care home fees falls to the individual if they have assets above the upper capital limit or own their own home, but they will generally require the assistance of someone legally appointed to manage their financial affairs, such as an attorney or a court-appointed deputy.  At Porthaven Care Homes we would always recommend seeking specialist financial advice from a care fee advisor.  Get in contact today and we can provide you with the details for your local SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisors) registered advisor.

What support does Porthaven provide for dementia residents?

Whatever an individual’s needs, our approach to dementia care is industry leading. Overseen by our Head of Dementia and Personalisation, dementia specialist Tanya Clover, at all Porthaven Care Homes we offer dementia care that is uniquely tailored to each resident. This is achieved through Dementia Care Mapping™, an established approach to achieving and embedding person-centred care for individuals living with dementia.