30th January 2019
According to research by healthcare intelligence specialists LaingBuisson the average weekly cost of a residential care home place in Devon in 2018 was in the region of £737. It is worth noting that charges will vary considerably either side of this average figure depending on the type of home, the level of self-funding and, most particularly, whether nursing care is required. Other studies have shown that nursing care can add around £200 per week to baseline care home fees.
Whether an individual is eligible for funding assistance will depend on a number of factors including their own personal needs and their assets. A 2017 report issued by the Competition and Markets Authority  revealed that 41% of care home residents self-funded their fees, 49% received local authority support whilst the remaining 10% received funding from the NHS due to primary health problems. A quarter of those who received local authority support also paid top up fees.
Those who are charged with managing the assets of a loved one in order to best secure appropriate long term care have a range of options to choose from including setting up a cash account or investing in bonds or the markets. The optimum solution will vary from person to person depending on their personal situation and level of assets held.
One solution which may be appropriate for some is an immediate lifetime care plan such as that currently offered by Aviva and JUST. Essentially, in return for a lump sum payment the immediate lifetime care plan will provide an agreed level of monthly cover for the lifetime of the individual. Options available include inflation protection and premium protection which could result in a refund of part of the initial payment depending on how long the plan has been in force. If premium protection is not chosen then there is no refund of premium when the individual passes away.
Immediate lifetime care plans are suitable for those who are already receiving or are about to receive long term care and who want the peace of mind of knowing that all or part of their care costs will be covered for the remainder of their life. This type of plan is not suitable for those who are only looking at short term care needs. It is also important to carry out a full assessment in advance to ensure that financial issues such as tax or the availability of state benefits are not affected by the plan’s inception.
Commenting on the immediate lifetime care plan, Thompson Jenner Financial Services long term care specialist Philip Dalley commented “for those who are looking for peace of mind, immediate lifetime care plans may be the answer. For example, the built in guarantees and flexibility of choice which come with the Aviva and JUST plans can help individuals to tailor the plan to their own circumstances; thereby helping to secure ongoing and appropriate levels of care.”
If you would like to find out more or meet to discuss the financial services which we are able to provide, please contact Philip Dalley at either our Exeter or Exmouth office on 01392 258553 or 01395 279521 to arrange a free initial meeting.