Deciding that a loved one needs to receive dementia care can be a hard decision that is made even harder due to the uncertainties surrounding what it might cost. Who pays for dementia care depends upon the finances of the person living with dementia as well as the level of care they might require.
If funds are available to pay for their own care, they will be expected to pay for it themselves. If they don’t have sufficient funds, then there is support available. It may also be possible to split the cost between them and the local authority if you choose for your loved one to live in a care home that has higher fees than the local authority alone can cover.
We will cover more about this process below.
How much will you have to pay for care?
If your loved one qualifies for council funding, the council will provide you with a budget that is high enough for them to pay for at least one care home that meets their needs. It is then up to you to decide whether or not you are happy for your loved one to live in one of the homes this budget covers. If so, the council fees will cover this in full. If not, and you choose a care home with higher fees, you can pay these additional fees yourself to top up the budget offered by the council.
In the UK, depending on your circumstances, dementia care often costs between £1000 and £3000 per week. For many, this is beyond their means, and government support won’t cover fees of anything close to the upper figure. But, if they qualify for funding, your loved one will still receive a budget that entitles them to receive care in some capacity.
Will the council help pay for dementia care?
When the time comes for someone you love to receive additional care, you first should speak to your local authority to understand the exact level of care they need. This is done by undertaking a needs assessment, whereby a council professional, such as an adult social worker, will visit your loved one to assess them and determine the level of care they may need.
It is relatively simple to organise a needs assessment, which you can do via the government’s website and enter your postcode to start the process.
During the assessment, the social worker will speak to you about how you might pay for care, and if need be, they will arrange for you to have a financial assessment known as a means test. This is the part of the process when it will be determined how much financial support your loved one might qualify for based on the level of care they might need. They will then be assigned a budget. As highlighted above, this budget will be enough to ensure your loved one can receive care in at least one care home that offers the level of support they need.