Date Revised:

You should get advice about the best way for the person you care for to pay for a care home. It will depend on what sort of care is needed, if the move to the care home is permanent, and where in the UK they live.

If the person you care for needs a short stay in care home to give you a break, find out about paying for respite

Paying for a care home yourself

If you arrange the care home privately the person you care for will have to pay. This is called self funding.

It is still a good idea to get information and advice from your local council to make sure you know exactly what sort of support the person you care for needs. The local council can do this even if they can’t help pay for the care home. They will also check if the person you care for qualifies for any means tested support.

Get in touch with your local carer service as they may be able to help. They will also be able to support you though this change.

Many people end up selling their home to pay for a care home but it is a good idea to explore other options. The Money Advice Service have detailed information about deferred payment agreements, equity release to fund careusing investment bonds to pay for long term care and getting financial advice on how to fund your long-term care. You should also help the person you care for get suitable legal advice.

For more information about self funding see paying for your own care and support on NHS Choices.

Funding from your local council

Your local council may be able to help pay for a care home. They will work out if, or how much, the person you care for needs to pay after they have done an assessment of their needs. They should also offer you a carer’s assessment to make sure your needs are met.

The amount the person you care for has to pay will depend on their needs, if they own a property, if they are on benefits, if they have savings and how much their income is. Your income and savings may also be taken into account if you live with the person you care for. 

It is worth checking exactly what the rules are for how much savings you can have before you qualify for help where the person you care for lives. For example, from April 2017 the limit in Wales is being raised to well above the levels in the rest of the UK. See local authority funding for care costs – do you qualify? on the Money Advice Service which includes information about savings thresholds.

NHS funding

  • The person you care for get they stay paid for in full if they qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. They must have significant ongoing physical or mental health needs arising from a disability, accident or illness. NHS continuing healthcare provides free care for adults at home, and also if they get care at home or in a hospice – but not in hospital.
  • If the person you care for has been discharged from hospital they may be able to get free care for up to 6 weeks – this is called NHS-funded intermediate care. They could get this support at home or at a residential care home.
  • NHS-funded nursing care (FNC) may be able to pay for the nursing or medical care that the person you care for receives in a care home. It does not pay for accommodation costs. 

Paying for a care home in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Where to find more information about paying for a care home

Next update due: June 2017