None of us like to spend too much time thinking about the day we will become dependent on the assistance of others. However, we can’t stop time and making plans well in advance is extremely sensible.
Not least, because setting down our preferences for elderly care ahead of time ensures our wishes are known and respected. It also enables us to make certain that we have the financial security to live out our twilight years under our own terms.
The prospect of having to move into a residential or nursing care home can be particularly unpleasant. In which case, making preparations for more palatable alternatives is vital. This usually requires enough financial health to enable you to engage live in care when your actual health fails.
Incidentally, dementia is not uncommon in the under 65s, so you may need to be ready to engage the services of a live-in carer before the moniker “elderly” even applies. Nor is dementia the only problem. In the UK around four million people have longstanding illnesses that limit their lifestyles.
Why elderly live-in care is invaluable
The advantages of commissioning care at home from a professional who lives under your own roof are many. Primarily, you can continue to live where you feel most safe and comfortable. And of course, you can continue to live with your spouse and other family members, and your pets.
With live-in care provision, your medical and wellbeing needs are met around the clock. This can improve your quality of life when you become elderly or infirm. Your carer-companion can help and support you to continue to live as independently as possible. They can even assist you to take outings and continue to enjoy your favourite hobbies and pastimes.
This level of individual freedom, independence and personal choice is not always replicated in a residential care setting, no matter how high its standards.
Cost of live-in vs. residential elderly care
Interestingly, it can work out to be highly cost-effective to engage live-in elderly care. A “bed” in a quality care home could well be expensive (to meet their overheads) when compared to the fees charged by live-in carers in your own property.
That’s not to say you don’t need to plan ahead though.
Is there financial help available?
The thresholds for financial help from your local authority are now low, making self funding likely. If you have certain health issues, the NHS may provide some money for care at home. Complacency on this is risky.
In fact, there’s evidence to suggest many people fail to start saving for home care or moving into a residential facility. They potentially assume relatives will meet the costs, or that state support will “magically” improve.
Some options for financing live-in elderly care
It all comes down to proper planning and preparation.
Taking robust and decisive action to fund care at home could involve releasing equity from your property, by downsizing in advance or sourcing a preferential financial product.
There are also annuity-like products you can pay in to, which provide a regular fee payment for elderly care. Is your need for live-in care imminent? Then you may want to consider an Immediate Need Care Fee payment plan
Other people prefer to ensure that some of their savings, investments and investment bonds are focused on long term returns, maturing at a point they’re most likely to need home care or disability support.
The best way forward is to get independent financial planning advice.