CARE OF THE ELDERLY: More help with free personal and nursing care

Caring, sharing, smiling – carers like this one keep their loved ones happy.

By Lucy Ashton

Adults who pay for their residential care in Scotland will be better off from April as a result of a change to the rates of allowances they receive for personal and nursing care.

Those who ‘self-fund’ their residential care receive an allowance in recognition of their personal and nursing care costs.

Regulations laid in Parliament will raise these allowances by 7.5 per cent, well above the normal annual increase, in recognition of the increasing cost of providing care, particularly for people with dementia.

The change is backed by an additional £10.1m in Local Authority funding to cover the increases.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, right, said: “I am pleased to confirm that we will increase the allowances paid to people who are paying self-funder rates for their residential care by 7.5%.

“Care home costs have been rising above inflation for a number of years and this is an important step towards to bringing the rates closer to the actual cost of personal and nursing care.

“The Independent Review of Adult Social Care will be published later this week and in responding to its recommendations there will be opportunities to consider wider reforms to the way residential care is funded and delivered, to ensure the highest standards of care and well-being for people who use adult social care, and support for their families, carers and the workforce.”

The Scottish Government has legislated to ensure that adults of any age, no matter their condition, capital or income, who are assessed by their local authority as needing personal care, are entitled to receive this without charge.

Free nursing care is similar and has been available to all who are assessed as requiring nursing care services, without charge.

People resident in care homes who have capital above the higher Capital Limit (currently £28,500) are known as self-funders. Local Authorities make payments to cover the personal care (currently at £180 per week) and nursing care (currently at £81 per week) part of self-funder care home fees. These are paid directly to the residential care provider on a weekly basis.

Under the normal inflationary measure used to calculate allowances, these payments would have increased by 1.94% this year. This year’s increases are shown in the table below.

Top picture: Care home clients and residents past and present at Crosslet House Care Home.

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