Paying for care

Paying for social care can be a concern for many people. Read about the various ways to pay for social care, and the amount someone might be expected to pay.

Who pays for care?

Many people with dementia will need care and support as their condition progresses. This is often a mix of care from family, friends and professionals. Paid care can take a number of different forms and focuses on meeting the person’s needs to improve their wellbeing.

The Care Act (2014) sets out the legal responsibilities of local authorities for adults who need care, as well as their carers.

Although there are national rules about who is required to pay for care and support, there are also some local variations. These mainly depend on the type of care and support that the person needs and where they live.

Paying for care in own home

If someone is still living in their own home, they will often pay for the costs of their own care and support, and the local authority (council) may also contribute. This depends on the person’s income and other assets (such as savings or shares).

Some people will be assessed as having to pay for all their own care and support at home. These people are sometimes termed ‘self-funders’.

People living in their own home must be left with a basic level of income, and the Care Act states that charges must be ‘reasonable.’

Paying for a care home

If someone is living in a care home, they might pay for all of their care and support costs (self-funders), or they may make a contribution, with the local authority also contributing. Again, this depends on the person’s income and assets. Some people in care homes may have all of their care funded by the local authority if they have a low income or few assets.

Some people may have all or part of their care funded by the NHS. See ‘Nursing costs' for more information. 

Live in Wales or Northern Ireland?

This information is for people living in England and is not intended for Wales and Northern Ireland, where the laws are different. Select from the options below for information about care costs in your area.

Northern Ireland Wales
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