Care home fees for self-funders

Read our guidance on self-funding care home fees, including why you might want to request a needs assessment. 

Care home fees for self-funders

If you are classed as a self-funder and are paying for your own care home fees, you can approach a care home directly and agree the financial arrangements together. However, you may still wish to have a needs assessment by the local authority.

A needs assessment will provide information about the type of care you need, and the options available. This information may help self-funders to decide whether the care home they are considering is appropriate.

If you did not have your needs assessed when you moved into a care home, it is important to make sure an assessment is arranged if it looks as though your savings will reduce so that you reach the financial thresholds. This could mean you’ll need local authority funding. The local authority will only help with future care home fees if your money runs out, and if it has assessed you as needing care in a care home. You can ask the care home manager or a carer for help with arranging a needs assessment.

If you are making your own arrangements with the care home, or if a relative is doing this, you need to ensure that you are given a contract detailing the home’s obligations and fees. You should be clear about:

  • the services that are included in the fees
  • what may be charged as ‘extras’
  • how much notice will be given if fees increase.

If you are assessed as needing to be in a care home and are unable to make the necessary arrangements yourself, the local authority has a duty to make arrangements for you. There will be a cost for this if you are a self-funder.

If you are paying part or all of your own fees, it is important that you are claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled. Your carer or a family member may be able to help you with this.

If the home provides nursing care, you will need to have your nursing needs assessed. The NHS can often fund care provided by a registered nurse - in England, the standard rate is £209.19 weekly. The care home manager or GP could be asked to arrange this assessment.

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