Understanding Care Home Costs Explained by Bristol Care Homes

Understanding Care Home costs can be difficult, so we have broken it down and explained everything you should know when considering a care or nursing home for you or your loved one.

When you or a loved one is at the point in their life when they need more help with day to day living, be it they have an ongoing or progressive medical condition they now need daily or 24-hour support with, or they are just finding living on their own difficult and Care home costs explainedlonely it is a huge change in theirs and their families lives, as well as being a very big decision. Not only do you have to consider the best care or nursing home available but you also need to consider how much it will cost and how much support or funding you would or could receive from your local council.

According to a recent report by healthcare data specialists Laing & Buisson in 2018, care homes costs can exceed well over £50,000 a year. Bristol Care homes offer great value for money service from an average of £950 a week, especially when you consider the exceptional care, the fantastic facilities, well-trained and experienced staff and the homes set in beautiful locations.

Local councils have certain responsibilities when it comes to paying for care and these are written in the Care Act legislation.

What is the Care Act?

The Care Act 2014 is an Act of the Parliament of the UK. The main purpose of creating the act was to overhaul the 60-year-old legislation and different laws regarding social care and carers in England. The Care Act is the law that sets out how adult social care in England should be provided. It makes clear that local authorities must provide, or arrange services that help prevent people developing needs for care and support, or cause people to deteriorate such that they would need ongoing care and support from carers.

Why did the Care Act come into effect?

Prior to the Care Act, there were different entitlements for different types of care and support for people. The entitlements were spread across a number of Acts of Parliament which made it confusing and complicated so it needed to be consolidated, simplified and be consistent across local authorities in England.

The aim of the Care Act was to design a simpler law for 21st Century care and support and significant changes needed to be made to get to this point.

  • The Care Act needed to be people-centric rather than the previous laws where assessments focused on services, organisations and the people that provided the care, rather than the people who needed the care
  • The different laws for social care were complicated and multi-layered, therefore, one law was needed where the processes and policies were simplified and the decisions made were consistent within and across local authorities in England
  • The Care act needed to be fair and consistent to ensure different groups of people were not treated differently and to ensure there was one process for determining eligibility and entitlement

How does a Local Authority determine the care that a person needs?

A local authority is required to conduct a ‘needs assessment’ when an adult may have needs for additional care and support and these are assessed in a consistent and constructive manner using the Care Act. A needs assessment and the process of it is detailed in Section 9 of the Care Act.

The adult social services department of your local council will arrange for a specialist team to come out to your home and complete a care needs assessment. There is no cost for an assessment and anyone is entitled to one if they need support with everyday living, regardless of their income and savings.

A care need assessment will also establish if there are other ways of supporting a person without the need for them to move into a care or nursing home. Some people will be worried about moving out of their home as they feel they will lose their independence. If a person does need full-time care or 24 hours support then be assured that good homes are experts in ensuring every resident retains their independence, regains their confidence and enjoys living with them, as they understand this is crucial to their mental and physical well being.

How does funding for care homes work?

After a ‘needs assessment’ has been completed by the local council they will talk to you about the costs of the care that is recommended and, or needed as a result of the assessment. Some types of care and support are provided free of charge but often the local authority will charge some of or all of the cost back to you. A local authority may pay for the total care or ask for an individual to contribute towards the cost of the full amount but this depends on an individual’s finances.

After a ‘care needs assessment’ has been completed your local authority will do a financial assessment to determine your ability to pay.

If the cost of the care reduces an individual’s income below a set level then the local authority will pay a proportion of the costs to ensure they are left with the minimum level of income to live from. This means that even if you have modest finances you will still receive the care that you need.

An individual is able to ask the local authority for support in arranging their care regardless if they have adequate financial resources. You may have the finances to fully pay for your care, but the local council completing the care needs assessment will clearly and consistently identify the care you need and will arrange it on your behalf if this is what you want. This ensures that people who are uncertain about the care system or lack the confidence to arrange their own care don’t go without the care and support they need.

If an individual is due to pay charges for their care then they may be entitled to a ‘deferred payment agreement’ with their local council. This means charges will be delayed to a later date if it supports them financially.

It is really important you get professional financial advice about funding long-term care and you can do this privately or ask for support from your local authority. By doing this as soon as possible it will help you determine the best way of covering the cost of your care fees in the short and long term and it will remove a huge amount of worry and stress.

Why do Care and Nursing Home costs vary?

Nursing homes charge higher fees compared to residential care homes as residents usually need more specialist medical care.

What is the difference between Care and Nursing Homes?

Residential Care & Nursing Homes offer different types of care both of which are structured and specialised daily care for residents as they need it.

A care home is suitable for individuals who have a lower level of need, physical dependency and medical requirements. A care home will typically suit someone who can no longer continue to live by themselves safely at home as they need help with daily activities such as; washing, dressing, cooking, shopping and cleaning, or they may feel lonely or unsafe in their own home and now want the company of others in a care home. An individual who is suited to a care home will have low to moderate physical and medical needs. When an individual needs medical support in their day to day living a nursing home is more suited to them as they have 24/7 nurses on-site who can support with more complex medical needs.

What is included in Care Home Costs?

A care home will provide help with personal care including; washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They will offer varied and nutritional meals and snacks every day and residents normally eat together in a social dining area. Residents living in a care home will have their own individual bedroom with their own bathroom, with other facilities like lounges, living rooms, libraries, dining rooms and gardens being shared. A good care home whose priority is the health and wellbeing of their residents will offer lots of organised social and communal activities as well as day trips and outings for the residents.

A nursing home offers and provides personal care as a care home does but they offer medical care from qualified nurses if a resident has specific medical needs. They are sometimes referred to as care homes with nursing.

A nursing home is legally required to have at least one nurse on-site 24/7, 365 days a year. The number of nurses required depends on the number of residents who have medical needs so this can vary by home.

Care and Nursing Homes can be run by local councils, private companies, voluntary or charity organisations.

Examples of care in a Care home:

  • Getting up and getting to bed
  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Meals including any dietary requirements
  • Taking medicines
  • Supervision of medicines

Examples of care in a Nursing Home:

  • Getting up and getting to bed
  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Meals including any dietary requirements
  • Taking medicines
  • Supervision of medicines
  • Administering of medicine including injections and pain relief
  • Dressing changes & sore care
  • Peg feeding
  • General nursing care activities

There are also many nursing homes which offer specialised dementia care. Dementia is challenging and they will have specialist dementia nurses and carers who have the knowledge, skills and experience to care for the residents who have dementia. A specialist dementia nurse requires additional post-registration training and this is when they learn about the pathologies of dementia. An important aspect of their role is to continually assess a person’s clinical and emotional needs and use their specialist skills to make them feel safe and secure.

Every dementia patient is different and will often need an experienced dementia nurse who will specialise in balancing medication, mental and physical care.

Dual-registered care and nursing homes look after individuals with only personal care needs as well as individuals who need medical care. Some people prefer to move into a care and nursing home to ensure they don’t have the upheaval and unsettling prospect of moving to a nursing home at a later date.

How do Care Homes Structure their fees?

Care Home fees are structured around a number of factors, such as location and the needs required of the resident. A home is likely to have a slightly higher fee (and costs) for a resident who has dementia who requires a more involved and higher level of support, as opposed to the fees with a resident who does not have dementia.

Of course, care homes with a higher standard of care, well trained and experienced staff and set in beautiful surroundings may charge slightly higher fees to cover these costs. Although, at Bristol Care Homes, we offer fantastic facilities and care within the average bandwidth of local costs.

We are always looking to be innovative in our care services and we offer many features in all of our homes which will help you or your loved one to feel happy and maintain a high level of fulfilment and independence in their life. Many of our services are unique to Bristol Care Homes and include:

  • Beautiful gardens with seating, greenery, trees and flowers for all our residents to enjoy
  • Environmentally designed buildings with 24/7 air circulation always keeping the atmosphere fresh and airy
  • Spacious and luxurious rooms with increased ceiling height which gives the feel of openness and light
  • Wide corridors for easier access
  • Television, DVD Player and direct telephone lines in every room
  • Internet access and telephones in every resident’s room supporting them to keep in touch with their loved ones, interests and everyday life
  • Customised high-quality wheelchairs are provided if and when they are needed
  • High technology baths and walk-in showers to support residents in bathing themselves if they are able to
  • Minibus services with a regular and changing schedule of trips and outings
  • Regular maintenance and replacement cycles of new carpets and decoration
  • Top-quality chefs producing tasty, varied and nutritious meals and snacks every day
  • A programme of interesting and stimulating social activities for all our residents
  • Warm, friendly and caring staff who get to know every resident and take time with them every day to ensure they are happy, fulfilled and feel safe

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)

All Care & Nursing Homes in the UK have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Their purpose is to ensure that all health and social care services provide safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care. They do this by carrying out regular inspections to ensure the services being provided meet the required standards required in England. The Care Quality Commission encourages and works with care services to continually review and improve their services themselves and this helps to ensure when they have a CQC inspection their care services are as they should be, as well as demonstrating their commitment to safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care.

Every CQC inspection rating is published with a detailed report which includes any observations and actions required for improvements. The inspection reports and ratings are vital in helping people compare care services and make choices about providers.

What does the Care Quality Commission do?

Register care providers

  • Monitor, inspect and rate care services
  • Take any action needed to protect people who use care services
  • Speak independently and publish views on major quality issues in health and social care

What does the Care Quality Commission do?

  • Protect the rights of vulnerable people, including those restricted under the Mental Health Act
  • Listen to and act on people’s experiences
  • Involve the public and people who receive care
  • Work with other organisations and public groups to ensure care services are of high quality, safe, effective and compassionate

There are four ratings that are given to health and social care services and the ratings are given for each of the five key questions included in the inspection, as well as an overall score for the care provider or service.

  1. Outstanding – The service is performing exceptionally well
  2. Good – The service is performing well and meeting expectations
  3. Requires improvement – The service is not performing as well as it should and have been told how it must improve
  4. Inadequate – The service is performing badly and action has been taken against the person or organisation that runs it

How much can I expect to pay for a Care or Nursing Home?

As with anything the cost of care and or a nursing home will vary and depends on lots of different factors including:

Your location – As an example, care in the North East will cost less than in the South mainly due to property prices in the North East being less than in the South and this is a huge factor in care costs across the UK.

The type of care you need – The more care and specialist care needed the higher the cost will be. As an example, if an individual has medical conditions which they need support with then their care will include an on-site nurse who is available 24 hours a day to support with it.

The quality of the home you choose – Its location, setting, overall condition, gardens, services, rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and bright and fresh decor will all factor in the cost of the home.

The homes Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating – This defines how good the quality of care is in a home and this is reflected in the care costs. Homes which invest in the carers, nurses, building, the gardens, the meals, having onsite chefs, the activities and the facilities will charge more for the care they provide as these all translate into the running cost of the home, as well as making it more attractive to residents wanting to live there.

If the cost of the care home you are interested in is above the national average for its location then this will be due to specific reasons which you should ask them about. These can include; a more luxury room with individual facilities, improved quality of care, a more personalised service, the building, the gardens, the high-quality meals and snacks prepared by onsite chefs, the internal and external activities available, the facilities and the excellent CQC ratings.

Every home should provide the basic and minimal of care but if you are looking for more than this then you should expect to pay more than the location average. When individuals move into a home it is a life-changing and unsettling period for them so you should always look for a family-oriented and run care home which provides home comforts, security and activities that will ensure they feel fulfilled, safe, content and happy in the home. A good care home will talk to you about these changes and what they can do to support you and your family in this life-changing transition.

About Bristol Care Homes

At Bristol Care Homes we understand that it is a difficult time for everyone when you feel you are at the stage when you or you loved one needs full-time care. Our compassionate, friendly and professional team will help and support you to decide which of our homes is best suited to yours or their needs and will talk about how we can support them or you with this life-changing event.

We are an independently owned group of 4 high-quality nursing homes which are located in and around Bristol. Our long-serving, dedicated team provide quality and compassionate care every day and our vision is to provide excellence in all aspects of care for all of our residents.

Our service leads the way in care home provision and this shows in our Care Quality Commission Ratings:

Glebe House – Outstanding Glebe House Care Home Bristol CQC

Beech House – Outstanding Beech House Care Home Bristol CQC

Field House – Good Field House Care Home Bristol CQC

Quarry House – Good Quarry House Care Home Bristol CQC

We are always looking at how we can improve the care we provide in each of our care homes and we work together closely to ensure collaboration, consistency and excellent high-quality care. Each of our homes has a family-focused feel in both our teams and residents.

Contact us today to find out more about us, the care services we offer and how we can help you in understanding Care Home costs.