Types of care and ways of paying for it

The main options facing people who have long-term care needs are:

  • Staying in the home. There are a range of support services to help people with care needs remain at home. Technological improvements are making this possible for more people.
  • Choose a residential care home. It may not be possible, or desirable in some cases, to continue to live at home. The choice is then between the type of residential care: 
Type of care home What they offer
Residential care homes  Personal care, such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They may also offer social activities such as day trips or outings. 
Nursing homes  Provide personal care as well as assistance from qualified nurses. Sometimes called care homes with nursing. 
Care homes with dementia care  Designed to make people with dementia feel comfortable and safe. 
Dual-registered care homes  Accept residents who need both personal care and nursing care. This means that someone who initially just needs personal care but later needs nursing care won’t have to change homes. 
Domiciliary care Domiciliary care is provided to people who still live in their own homes but who require additional support with household tasks, personal care or any other activity that allows them to maintain their independence and quality of life.
Respite care  Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else. 
End of life care  End of life care aims to support someone in the later stages of a life-limiting condition to live as well as possible until they die. 
Assisted living  Assisted living is a type of ‘housing with care’ which means you retain independence while you're assisted with tasks such as washing, dressing, going to the toilet or taking medication. 
Intermediate care  Intermediate care (IC) is non means-tested, time-limited, short term support. IC services must be free for the first six weeks or if the agreed timescale is less than six weeks, for that period. While a local authority has the power to charge if IC extends beyond six weeks, it has discretion to extend provision of free services. 

Paying for care

Help with paying for care

Your clients may be eligible for help with care costs. Here are the main options:

  • For people with modest funds, the local authority may pay all or part of the costs of care.
  • Someone with a significant long-term healthcare need can apply for NHS continuing healthcare to pay for care.
  • If their application for NHS continuing healthcare isn’t approved, they may still apply for NHS-funded nursing care. If successful, this will cover part of the costs of their care.
  • Failing this, they could be entitled to the following benefits if they are in poor health:
    • Attendance Allowance (for people aged over 65).
    • Personal Independence Payment (for people aged under 65). 

Paying for their own care

Anyone paying for their own care costs may have further options available:

  • Pay costs directly from their savings and investments.
  • Sell or rent their home to help pay for the costs of care.
  • Use a deferred payment agreement to avoid having to sell the home.
  • Consider an equity release plan to help pay for modifications to the home or to cover agency care costs if home nursing is required.
  • Buy an immediate needs annuity to help towards care home costs.

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