Why are care home costs in England and Wales rising? The Compass CHC team explores this issue and highlights what options are available to combat care home costs
What is the average cost of care home fees?
The average care home cost in the UK rose by 19%, between 2021 and 2023. The average annual cost for a room in a care home can now easily exceed £39,480, a figure which is already double the average pensioner’s income of £18,000. This figure can then easily rise to an average of £49,920 a year if nursing care is also needed.
The average weekly cost can vary hugely depending on where you are based in the country, but also on what type of care your relative needs. We regularly encounter instances of clients paying costs in excess of £2,500 a week for a nursing home with dementia care.
Why are care home costs rising?
Due to the cost of living crisis, we have seen increases in both energy, food and staffing costs, this undoubtedly has a ripple effect on the cost of care. The most rapid rise in fees has occurred in the South East and South West of England, where the average costs have reached £49,660. The lowest average costs remain in the North East, at £35,672.
Unfortunately, the costs are only likely to rise further and care home owners like any business will not be able to allow these increases to impact on their profit margins, therefore care home costs to residents have increased proportionately to match the increase in costs to them and will continue to do so.
What should self-funders be aware of when it comes to care home costs?
If you are funding your own care or your relative’s care, you are known as a self-funder. It is self-funders who are hit hardest by the rising costs of care home fees, and very often they don’t actually know why or what exactly their fees are going towards. Reportedly, self-funders can pay 10pc to 20pc more than funded residents, sometimes for the same level of accommodation and care.
It therefore may be worth following up with the care home to establish what exactly your relative’s care home costs are covering. If the cost of their nursing care is rising, it may be an indication that their care needs are also increasing. Subsequently, if it can be established that the need for care is primarily a health need they may be eligible for Continuing Healthcare Funding.
If you believe your relative may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, this would entitle them to the full care home costs being met by the NHS, regardless of what savings or assets they own.
If your relative is paying for care and they have complex health issues, for example issues associated with dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, you should not hesitate to contact an expert member of our team today. We will provide a free, independent confidential and no obligation assessment of your relatives entitlement to NHS continuing healthcare and will explain the process and the options open to you. We can be contacted directly on 0121 227 8940, or you may wish to complete our free assessment and a member of our team will contact you.
Author: Tim Davies LLB