Paying for long term care

One in four of us may need long term care or support but few of us like to think about it until it happens. Care can involve help in your own home as well as residential or nursing care homes. If you, or a member of your family, need care and support now or in the future there are a number of important things you need to consider.  There is a range of information to help you understand the way in which care can be funded and the other issues to consider in relation to your individual situation. You may then wish to take specialist financial advice before making any decisions.

Before you think about the likely costs of any care and support, it is important that you get information and advice about the options open to you, both regarding the type of services that might suit you, and also whether your local council might contribute to the costs. If you don’t you may make poor decisions about either the care you organise or about how you pay for it or both.

Planning for long-term care is a complex matter. Detailed analysis of your income, savings, capital and benefits needs to be made, so you should seek advice from an authorised financial adviser with specialist knowledge in this area before taking out any product to cover long-term care costs.

There are different ways to pay for long-term care.  The Money Advice Service offers impartial information and guidance about your money to help you work out what’s right for you. There are many other sources of financial information. You should satisfy yourself that it meets your needs. If you access information from banks or from insurers or other organisations of that nature, they may be giving you information to persuade you to buy their products. They should tell you if they are giving you information just about their own products and no others.

It is sensible if you have savings, property or a payment you want to invest to get independent financial advice.  When you choose a financial adviser, there are a number of things to consider. The Later Life Adviser Accreditation (LLAA) is the recognised benchmark for advice skills of those advisers who specialise in the older client market. This helps older people and their families identify an adviser who will understand their needs. The Later Life Adviser Accreditation Scheme is audited and endorsed by the standard-setting body the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) and was developed in collaboration with the specialist financial services consultancy SVARfair. There is more information on this on the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) website. Through this website you can also access both general information about paying for care and information about accredited financial advisers in your area.

Independent information and advice in relation to finances for younger people with disabilities and for parents with adult disabled children is generally more difficult to find but advisers who understand paying for care will be able to help. Visit the Money Advice Service website to find out more.


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