Cost of living support for people affected by dementia
You might be worried about how rising living costs will impact your finances if you live with dementia, or care for someone with the condition. There is help and support available.
Support to help with the cost of living
We have compiled some resources about financial help available for people affected by dementia. Please note that some links on this page will take you to an external website.
Help with paying for essential costs
People with dementia may forget to turn off taps, lights and heating. Sometimes adjustments can help stop bills escalating: such as reminder signs, push down taps or sensor lights. However, this won’t work for everyone, so ensuring you are accessing available support is vital.
Financial help to pay your energy bills
- The Energy Bills Support Scheme provides a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023. Eligible households in Northern Ireland will receive a single non-repayable payment of £600. Both of these schemes are automatic, and you don't need to apply. How you will receive the discount or payment will dependent on how you pay your bill — speak to your supplier.
- WaterSure is a scheme that can help some people with paying their water bills.
- Citizen’s Advice has information on what to do if you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter.
- Winter Fuel Payments may be available to those born on or before 25 September 1956. This year they will include a pensioner cost of living payment, so you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.
- Cold Weather Payments will be paid to some people claiming benefits during freezing weather conditions.
- Check if you're eligible for the Warm Home Discount, which provides eligible low-income households with a £150 discount off their energy bills.
Energy and water advice
- National Energy Action has a helpline you can call if you or someone you know can’t afford to heat their home.
- Citizen’s Advice has information on grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills.
- Ofgem has advice on getting help if you can’t afford your energy bills.
- Technology can help people with dementia manage appliances within the home.
- Warm Welcome lists organisations that have opened or are opening up free, warm spaces throughout winter.
- Read our advice on how to support a person with dementia in cold weather.
Many people living with dementia need care and support to maintain their independence. This may be from friends and family, or professional carers. Not accessing much needed care due to rising costs could leave people vulnerable, or at risk.
Knowing how the financial assessment works may provide reassurance that you can access care and pay your bills.
If you need care and support in your own home
- Read our information on paying for care and support in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- Financial assessments are carried out by your local authority and help decide who will pay for your care and support.
- Home care costs will depend on the financial assessment, and what a care service costs.
- Disability related expenditure and housing costs should be considered when deciding how much of your income is needed for your living costs. This may include increased heating and water costs, if they are due to your disability.
- Your Minimum Income Guarantee (known as the Minimum Income Amount in Wales) should ensure you keep enough money for living costs, after you have paid care costs.
If you need to pay for a care home
- Care home fees are calculated to a national standard for charging and for deciding who is responsible for paying.
- Care home fees for self-funders work slightly differently, and you may want to request a needs assessment.
- The Competition and Markets Authority guidance covers fair terms in care home contracts around fee increases.
If you are an unpaid carer
While some people may be able to move to cheaper accommodation, this could hugely impact the health and wellbeing of a person with dementia.
They often rely on familiarity, and like many people, their home helps them to feel safe and secure. Therefore, it is important to access the information and support needed to stay on top of these bills.
If you can't pay your rent or mortgage
- Shelter has advice on how to deal with rent arrears if you are behind with your rent payments to your private landlord or letting agent.
- Citizen's Advice has information on what to do if you're struggling to pay your mortgage or already behind on your payments.
Financial support with housing costs
- Help with housing costs may be available if you're on benefits and affected by dementia
- Housing payments are available for people on universal credit to help pay for housing costs, whether you own or rent your home.
- Citizen's Advice has information on benefits and grants to help you with the cost of renting from a private landlord or through a letting agent.
- Council tax disregards and support schemes may be available if you live with dementia, or support someone with the condition.
- Pension credit (guarantee element) can be claimed if you’re over state pension age and on a low income. It can passport you to full housing benefit and council tax support.
- Depher can help with covering the costs of heating and plumbing repairs in the home.
If you are claiming all the benefits and support you are entitled to, but still struggling, explore local and discretionary support. What is available varies dependent on where you live.
- The local Welfare Assistance Finder can help you to find out if a discretionary scheme is available through your local authority, and what it can help with. If you can’t find anything, contact them directly.
- Turn 2 Us grants search can also check if you are eligible for a grant from a charitable organisation.
If you need help paying for food
- Citizen's Advice has information on using and getting a referral to a foodbank.
- The Trussel Trust has an interactive map where you can find your nearest foodbank.
If you need help paying for household items
- Reuse Network sell high-quality household items at an affordable price.
- End Furniture Poverty can help you find furniture if you need it.
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