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“If You Want Them To Stay, You’ll Have To Pay”

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

There are lots of reasons why you may be caring for someone…

Old age, illness, accident and other reasons, and caring for those close to us can be a challenging task whether you are a carer for a spouse, relative, or even a close friend.

Having to make decisions on where that person lives is difficult and problematic. Will you make the right choice? What would they prefer? Not only do you have to consider all this, it all depends on finances. With Local Authorities feeling the pinch, lots of ordinary people find themselves fulfilling the role of carer and having to make decisions on behalf of someone else. Given recent budget cuts within the NHS and to other public services, some people may find themselves cut off from the care needed and unsure of how to get help.

So when you’re then told “If you want them to stay, you’ll have to pay” it only adds to the complexity.  Unfortunately, this is the option that families are given throughout the country in relation to elderly loved ones who are in full time residential care. This could be the case if they have just entered this type of care or who have been in care for multiple years!

If a person has total assets under £23,250 and living in a care home then the local authority are obliged to pay a contribution towards their care. Together the person will pay a weekly contribution to the LA who will cover the remainder of the care fees. However, the LA usually pay the care home a much lower weekly amount than if the person was self funding.

It is at this point that a manager may turn to family members or friends of that person and ask for a “third party top up”. This is to cover the shortfall of the rate the care home was previously being paid when the person in question was funding themself in addition to the lower weekly rate they receive from the LA. The alternative given is that this person will move this person out of the care home to somewhere that will accept the local authority rate or into a shared room.

This can be a very distressing time for the family members and they often feel obliged to pay the extra amount, typically £100-£200 per week.

Jamie Christie and the Court of Protection team at Wilson Browne Solicitors provide expert advice every day on this issue and others relating to care home fees and LA funding.

It is highly recommended that before you sign any type of agreement that you seek advice from the experts to make sure that you have a full understanding and are provided with the correct advice.

Vicki Pearce


Vicki Pearce


Vicki is a Partner and head of our Private Client Team and our Care Funding and Court of Protection Team . She is based in Northampton. As head of both teams she is able to bring her expertise and obvious overlaps into both areas of…