top of page

Crucial Tips to Preserve Your Home While Covering Care Costs

When contemplating the financial aspects of long-term care in later life, the daunting idea of selling your home to cover expenses can be sidestepped with strategic planning. By understanding the available options and the live in care cost, you can navigate this complex landscape without sacrificing your cherished property.

Whether it's for yourself or a loved one, grasping these financial care options is vital. Here's a concise guide to steer you in the right direction.

 Smiling elderly Live In Care clients outside holding hands

Avoiding Property Sale for Care Funding

If you or your partner, and certain other qualifying individuals, desire to stay in your home with a domiciliary care service, selling it to fund homecare can be circumvented. Laws ensure your right to remain in your home, preventing you from being compelled to sell to cover the cost of care at home and your care expenses.

These eligible dependants encompass various individuals like spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, close relatives over 60 or incapacitated, close relatives under 16 in your care, and even ex-spouses or partners who are single parents. Essentially, the well-being of your close ones isn't compromised due to personal care needs.

When Selling Becomes a Consideration

Selling your home to finance the cost of in home care might become necessary if you move into a residential care home and no qualifying dependants continue living there. While options like savings or private pensions exist, the significant costs associated with care homes—often averaging £55K annually in the South of the UK—often lead individuals to consider their property as a potential source of funding.

However, if you continue residing in your home or move to a residential or nursing care home while a spouse or dependant remains in the property, understanding payment dynamics is crucial.

Understanding Financial Aid for Care Costs

Financial assistance is available if your assets fall below a specific threshold determined through a "means test." This applies if you or a qualifying dependant no longer reside in your home. If one of the listed dependants continues living there, only your other assets are taken into account.

Anticipated social care reforms in England (expected in 2023) will alter these thresholds. Currently, the following thresholds apply:

  • England: £14,250 – £23,250

  • Wales: £24,000 (at home) / £50,000 (residential care)

  • Scotland: £20,250 – £37,750

  • Northern Ireland: £14,250 – £23,250

Those below the lower threshold receive maximum support, while those exceeding the upper threshold receive no assistance. Assets between these limits result in scaled financial aid.

In practice, home ownership typically surpasses the upper limit, often leading to limited or no support. Case examples illustrate how this process unfolds.

Advantages of Home Carers

Receiving domiciliary care in your own home, whether this be hourly care of 24/7 live in care, can expedite qualification for financial assistance. Your property's value isn't factored into the means test, and homecare focuses solely on care itself, resulting in lower home care costs.

Moreover, opting for domiciliary care (meaning care in your domicile=home) reduces the likelihood of sudden shifts to residential care due to accidents or other reasons. Although costs may eventually match those of care homes, a home-based setting is often more affordable for couples needing care, and for this arranging Live In Care meaning a Qualified Carer resides in your home with you providing 24 7 care at home offers by far the best value for money care option available in the UK today.

Addressing Asset Gifting

Transferring assets to children to evade care fees is usually ineffective, as authorities view this as "deliberate deprivation of assets." Gifting property or a significant sum shortly before requiring care may not yield the desired outcome.

Spousal and Children's Financial Responsibility

Shared assets with your spouse contribute to the means test, while solely owned assets by your spouse do not. Children's assets are treated separately and aren't factored into your means test.

Selecting Your Care Funding Path

Ultimately, the decision between home care and residential care, with or without financial aid, is pivotal. The challenge lies in optimally using available funds to receive suitable care. Consulting a SOLLA, Society of Later Life Advisers, independent financial adviser (IFA) specialising in long-term care is invaluable. A SOLLA IFA can clarify your elder care options, aid with financial support applications, and advise on managing your assets, especially if selling your home is part of the equation. The information contained in this article was correct as of August 2023 and thanks to Access Care the UK’s leading Live-in care specialist since 1994.


bottom of page