We are fortunate to have our offices based in an area with such a strong sense of community. In both Leigh-on-Sea and Rochford, it’s common to see parents walking their children to schools, who are then picked up by grandparents in the afternoon. These familiar family connections are everpresent, which can cause added strain when it comes to caring for loved ones in their later years.
Fortunately, in both Leigh-on-Sea and Rochford, we are surrounded by excellent care homes, which provide the necessary attention for elderly and vulnerable residents for their final years. They also provide engaging activities and encourage regular visits from family members. But, there is no denying that extensive care of this nature, although the ideal, can prove expensive. Our solicitors are often asked whether there is support for funding their loved ones’ long-term care fees, or if these fees need to be paid for by the elderly resident (selling their house, etc.) or their family (known as a third-party top-up).
The issue of social care fees has only become more prominent in recent weeks, with headlines surrounding the Conservative manifesto’s intention to introduce a cap on the total fees individuals will face on their long-term care fees. Our legal professionals are always willing to advise on all aspects of later-life care, and what families should expect to be paying when organising care home fees for their loved ones.
“Can I receive support with long-term care fees?”
With regards to help covering the cost of care fees and who is responsible for paying these, there is not one correct answer. There is help for funding but it’s dependent on the situation. Certain cases will receive full funding from the NHS; it remains a legal obligation to fund those who are entitled to Continuing Healthcare, which is someone who’s primary need for care is a medical one. Anyone in full-time care should be assessed under a specific eligibility criteria and must not entertain any reference to means-testing. No-one is means-tested when they turn up at A&E with a broken arm!
For those that do not meet the necessary medical criteria (the eligibility result can be challenged), they will be means-tested to determine if they receive funding for care. This testing covers both their capital (including their property) and their income. Be aware that if someone is living in their home or is dependent on them, this can affect the means-testing assessment. Also, there are certain non-means-tested benefits available and certain services that should be provided free of charge, so it is essential to obtain full assessments at all times.
We want the very best care for those we love, especially those that cared for us when we were young. This emotion can lead us to agree to top-up fees without hesitation, in order to ensure that our elderly/ill relative, friend or partner receives the support they need. However, entering a third-party contract without a proper understanding of the terms is risky, as it can lead to the arrangement continuing far longer than you thought or can afford. Furthermore, it may be that the Local Authority or NHS should have picked it up.
If you have a Power of Attorney for the elderly loved one in question, you can deal with every step on their behalf. Also, if you’re a carer, did you know that you too are entitled to an assessment under The Care Act? After all, if you are struggling to get enough sleep or keep well, who will do what you do?
Our firm is delighted to support and be members of Solicitors for the Elderly, a non-profit organisation devoted to the protection and fair treatment of older and vulnerable clients. If you do need support with any of these specific issues to ensure both the care of your loved ones and the protection of your rights, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. Call us on 01702 477106, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation.
With the right assistance, our community can continue to maintain a celebrated reputation for the dedicated of those in need for long-term care,and ensure your loved ones receive the attention they deserve.