Caring for others is an important part of society, but it can also be a challenge. The cost of care is rising and as your elderly relatives begin to require more support, finances are something you need to think about. Whilst nobody wants to talk money in these situations, recognising what budget you have and if you need financial help will ensure your elderly relatives get the best care. If you want to know more about how to afford the cost of care for elderly relatives, read on.
Equipment and Living Costs
If your elderly relatives want to stay at home, you may need to adapt their home to make sure it is safe for them. This can include things like making the bathroom accessible with a shower chair or walk-in bath, adding a stairlift, and getting an adjustable bed. Every room in the home needs some sort of risk assessment, so you can understand what equipment will be needed. If your elderly relatives have a condition that is going to get worse, this is also something to think about when adapting their home.
NHC Group has a range of nursing equipment that can help your elderly relatives to stay independent and safe at home. They are a care home supplier, meaning they offer high standard equipment including shower chairs, hoists, and profile beds. This type of equipment can be used in any home and may even be transferred if your relative goes into a care home in the future.
As well as equipment, there are other costs to consider such as food. If your elderly relatives cannot cook for themselves, they may need a meal supplier who can prepare and send out fresh meals for them. Alternatively, you may want to cook extra portions and freeze them, ready to give to your relatives every week to keep them fed on nutritious, homecooked meals.
Looking at Care Alternatives
When looking at how to afford the cost of care, you need to choose what type of care you and your elderly relatives want. Some care might be more affordable than others and this will depend on how independent your loved one is. Residential care is perfect for those who want to remain independent and have their own living space, whilst still having trained staff on hand to help with daily activities, such as eating, going to the toilet, taking medication, and showering.
If your elderly relatives require help with all their needs, a care home may be a better option. There are plenty of care homes for unique needs, such as palliative care or dementia homes. If your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia, a care home that has specially trained dementia nurses and carers could be a great choice. Here, you will know they are being cared for by professionals who have cared for dementia patients before and know how to keep your relative comfortable.
If you want your relative to stay home, hiring carers that come into their home is another option. You can choose a care plan that works around them, such as morning and evening, for help getting up and getting ready for bed. This can be changed as needed. Some places offer respite care if you need help looking after your loved ones whilst you go away on holiday or take a break from caring.
Choosing to Care for Elderly Relatives Yourself
If other avenues of care are not right for you and your loved ones, you may choose to take care of your elderly relatives yourself. If you can do this and leave your job, you may be entitled to an allowance from the government, known as a carer’s allowance. This is something to look into before making the decision unless you and your relative can compensate for the loss of income from leaving your job role.
If your elderly relatives are struggling at home, it may make the most sense to move them in with you and your family. This allows you to care for them from the comfort of your own home, which can save time and money. This also strengthens the family unit and allows you to spend precious time with your elderly relatives. It can be one of the most affordable options too if you have the space and your family is on board to help with care as needed.
If you do decide to move your elderly relatives into your home, you should discuss rental arrangements, as they may be able to pay towards food shopping and bills, which can help minimise the costs to you and your family.
Understanding the Different Types of UK Funding
In the UK, there are a number of funding schemes that can help with paying for care, but this will be dependent on your capital. It is important to do your research beforehand, so you can determine what you and your elderly relatives may be able to get financial help with. If your elderly relatives have complex health needs or a long-term health condition, the NHS may fund their care.
When looking at self-funding, things like pension, savings, and property will be taken into account before calculating what you will be entitled to, if anything. Even if your elderly relatives have to self-fund, they may be able to get other help, such as Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance.
If you are looking for a more affordable way to pay for care, it might be worth looking at long-term care insurance. You should shop around for the best prices when it comes to insurance, as there are a lot of companies around. If your elderly relatives have this type of insurance, it can cover the costs of things like carers, who can come into the home and assist with daily tasks.
Also, long-term care insurance protects against conditions that are more common in older age, like Parkinson’s or dementia. If your relative gets a condition like this, they will still be covered for the costs of their care. Be careful to read the small print before signing any contracts though.
Creating a Budget
With so much to think about, it can be overwhelming looking at the cost of care. To make the process easier and see what you and your elderly relatives can afford to pay, create a budget. This should include any incomings, such as their pension, savings, or any investments. If they have a home, you should also consider the market price, as they may want to consider selling or renting it out to cover costs.
Remember to add any outgoings, such as equipment, medications, food, and rent if they don’t own their home. Once you have a budget and you have checked your eligibility for council and government funding schemes, you can look at what care is affordable and possible.
If your elderly relatives need care, you should first consider their wishes. You can then look at creating a budget and talk about what they want to do with their assets, such as their home. You can check online to find out your eligibility for funding, to help towards the cost of care. If you choose to care for your elderly relatives at home, this can save money, but you will need to make reasonable adjustments to your home and get the right equipment.