What does private funding actually mean?
Private funding basically means that you are responsible for funding and paying for your own care.
If the you are fortunate enough to be able to afford to pay your own care fees, you can approach a care home or a care service directly and sort out the financial arrangements yourself or with the help of your family.
It is however good practice to consider if your needs are likely to change in the future. If this is the case then the fees that you agreed in the first instance may rapidly change to accommodate your new care plan/needs.
It may therefore be a good idea to ask your local authority for an assessment. They will be able to help you decide what type of care you need, take into account possible future fees and help you if you or a family member are unable to make the arrangements.
Unfortunately your local authority can only help you with future fees if there has been an initial assessment, the person is deemed as needing care within a care home environment or within their own home and they have approved the home/service chosen.
This assessment will help to clarify information about the type of care that is required on an individual basis and which services are available. Your local authority have a duty to arrange such placements or care services, if the individual is not capable of doing so as long as an assessment has taken place.
If the local authority agrees that the person needs to either enter a home or to have a care package put in place within their own home. Then they can make an agreement with the care home or service provider. Such an agreement states that the local authority will start to make a financial contribution towards costs once the person's savings drop to below a certain amount.
If no such agreement is made, there may be difficulties should the cost of care package or home be greater than the amount that the local authority is usually prepared to pay.
Other things to remember when paying privately include the following:
If the service user is not assessed before they enter a home or a care package, you need to make sure that an assessment is arranged before their savings get too low.
If the service user is making their own arrangements with the care home or care provider, make sure that they are given a contract detailing any obligations and fees. It is important to be sure what services are included in the fees, what may be charged as 'extras', and how much notice is given if fees are going to be increased.
If a service user is paying their own fees, make sure they are claiming all the benefits to which they are entitled.
The cost of your care in a care home will vary depending on what type of care and accommodation you need and choose and on whether you receive financial assistance (see ‘getting financial help’ below). Nursing care homes generally charge higher fees than residential homes because residents usually need more specialist care.
Fees are also dependant on:
- level and type of care
- location of the care home
- the type of room you choose
To give you a rough idea, the cost of many care homes ranges from:
- £500 to £750 per week* for standard accommodation and personal care range
- £580 to £1,100 per week* for nursing care