Long-term care

"Most people will end up in a care home eventually these days."

"Most people will end up in a care home eventually these days."

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The good news is most people won’t end up in a care home. The numbers could change, but currently only about 1 in 4 men and 1 in 3 women aged 65 will require care at some point in their lives. There is a rising trend for people to need care in their own home, but this is usually less expensive and often carried out by family and friends.

If you do need long term care, you may have to pay all of your care costs in full, but this is changing.

From October 2023, there will be a cap of £86,000 on the amount you can be required to contribute towards your care costs (excluding food and accommodation) over your lifetime.

How social care is funded currently

Care costs can be very substantial if you have to pay these in full.

If the total value of all your capital exceeds certain limits you will be required to fund all or part of your care. Capital includes any savings and investments you may have plus the equity in your home may be included.

If you have more capital than the amounts shown in the map below, it’s very likely you’ll have to contribute to the costs of care:

PB cost of care

If you have less than these amounts, you may still need to contribute towards the costs of your care. In England, for example, you must have less than £14,250 in capital before the cost of your care will be funded entirely by the State.

In Wales, the figure of £50,000 applies to residential care costs. Non residential care costs are capped at £24,000

A new approach to social care 2023

The government has announced radical changes to the way care is paid for in England.

From October 2023, a new cap will be imposed on lifetime contributions to the cost of care set at £86,000. The new scheme will operate differently to the current scheme. How much you will have to contribute towards the £86,000 cap depends on your wealth:

• If you have assets of less than £20,000 you will not have to make any contribution for your care from your savings or the value of your home.

• If you have assets of between £20,000 and £100,000 you will be eligible for some means-tested support towards the costs of your care.

• If you have over £100,000 in assets you must pay your fees in full, but subject to the overall cap of £86,000.

There are a few issues to bear in mind:

• The changes only apply to England as health and social care are devolved matters.
• Any money spent on care before the new proposals become effective in October 2023, will not count towards the £86,000 cap.
• The £86,000 cap does not include the costs of food and accommodation.

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