This was fisrt published in the Somerset County Gazette.
Over the last 10 years, and in particular the last few years, Ashfords LLP has seen a change in attitudes by their clients and their families towards care and whether or not they go into the conventional residential care facility or indeed, if they decide to pay for care in their own home.
The Ashfords’ Equity Release Team has a number of clients who viewed care in a care facility as the only option open to them, and thinking that care in the home would be prohibitedly expensive.
However, we have seen a trend for clients and their families to remain in the family home with supported care, often funded by a care plan or by taking out a lifetime mortgage.
These options, depending on the type of plan chosen, would allow the clients to withdraw capital funds as and when needed from the property (rather than taking an initial large sum which they are charged for from day one) and only charged for when the withdrawal took place.
Indeed current lifetime mortgages, if financial circumstances allow, can be repaid on an on-going basis.
The cost of care in the home is more expensive than in a care home, something that is especially true if 24-hour care is needed, many clients and their families take the view that they would rather have care in their own home provided that this is feasible.
Ashfords’ Equity Release Partner, Peter Barton, recently met with a very astute 91-year-old. The man was taking a lifetime mortgage against his home to pay for a care plan which would allow him to have the dignity of remaining in his own home and being cared there full time by a live in carer.
Peter Barton met with both the man and his son to advise on the best possible solution that the client was happy with and both were very much in agreement that this is what was wanted. The family recognised this was more expensive, it was the client’s choice and wish to do so.
It is also often the case that a spouse will go into care, leaving the remaining partner in the family home to take out a lifetime mortgage.
This can assist with paying for the care of their spouse in a home ensuring they have the freedom of choice to select the care home most suitable to them. The on-going change we at Ashfords have seen with our clients is that they like to retain control and have the freedom of choice.