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Paying for residential and nursing care

Moving into a care home is a big step. You may have to pay fees for many years.

Some people will be able to get help from Salford City Council with paying the fees. You should contact Adult Social Care before you move.

What are the fees for and why do they seem so expensive?

A care home's fees cover two main areas:

  • Daily living costs such as rent, food and heating, sometimes referred to as board and lodging costs.  
  • Care costs such as helping people wash, dress and go to the toilet, and basic health care costs.

Fees for nursing homes are usually higher because they include the cost of nursing care. The NHS pays for the nursing part of the fees if you have been assessed as needing nursing care.

We strongly recommend that you get independent financial advice if you are thinking of moving to a care home.

What if I make my own arrangements?

If you decide to make your own arrangements without having a social care assessment, the council will not be able to help. You will have to pay all the fees. If you are moving to a nursing home and a health professional has agreed you need nursing care, the NHS should pay the cost for the nursing care but you will have to pay the remainder of the fees to cover your living and other care costs.

Seek advice about finding a suitable care home. You may also want to read 'paying for long term care' at the bottom of this page.

Who can get help with paying the fees?

If you have more than £23,250 in assets, you will need to pay all the residential or nursing home fees yourself (except the cost of any nursing care that you are assessed to need).

Sometimes Adult Social Care can make the arrangement and pay the home for you but you will need to pay back the full amount until the value of your assets is below £23,250. If you have less than £23,250 in assets as well as a limited income, Salford City Council will usually be able to help with the costs of the home.

How much help can you get?

When you move to a care home, you will probably have to use most of your income to pay the fees. The council will work out what help it can provide. 

You will need to complete a financial assessment about your income and assets. 

You can find more detailed information from Salford City Counci'ls Paying for Residential or Nursing Care.

What happens if I own my home?

If you are a home owner, we will usually count the value of the home as an asset, as you are no longer living in it. This is likely to take your total assets over the £23,250 threshold and you will have to pay the full residential fees yourself. 

Deferred payment agreements

If you are a home owner but you have less than £23,250 in other assets, we can pay the care home fees until you are ready to repay us. This is called a Deferred payment agreement. You can delay repaying us until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.

If you spouse, partner or another relative who is over 60 or who is disabled remains living in your home when you go into residential care, we can ignore its value until it becomes available to be sold. You must tell us if anything changes about who is living in your home.

You may choose to pay the full or part-cost of your care from your available income and savings, or a family member may choose to pay some or all of the fees for you. 

There are different financial products such as equity release schemes and insurance policies that may suit your personal circumstances. 

We strongly recommend that you get independent financial advice to help you look at your options for paying for care. 

What happens if I choose a more expensive home?

Every year, we set maximum amounts we will pay towards the cost of residential or nursing home care. These depend on the type of home and the type of care you are assessed to need. 

If the council is helping to pay for your home and you choose a home that is more expensive than the maximum we have agreed, then someone other than you or us will have to agree to pay the extra. Salford Council for Voluntary Service (Salford CVS) has a list of charities which may help with the extra fees or you may have a relative who can help. This is called a third party top up agreement and this agreement must be made before you move into the home.

Getting financial advice

We strongly recommend you get financial advice if you own your own home, or have other assets. 

You can find a specialist financial advisor for later life from SOLLA.

You can find further information using the links on the right of this page.