care home costs

paul g

Registered User
Apr 26, 2004
my mother was diagnosed early last year but in reality i know she has had it longer. Im back at home with her now due to personal circumstances, ive heard a radio report some weeks ago that irrespective of how well off a person with the disease is then if they eventually go into a care home then the cost is minimal, as long as they have been diagnosed with a recognized mental illness, has anyone got a definutive answer please.

John Bottomley

Registered User
Apr 7, 2004

Not in Durham, unfortunately.

In Scotland, I understand that care provision is free.

In England & Wales it's not.

The costs are worked out depending on the extent of the assetts of the individual going in to care. If they are affluent then they will have to meet the costs, which are by no stretch of the imagination 'minimal' and can mount up pretty quickly. As their assetts are erroded then the amount they contribute to funding lessens.

Assessments of need, that a Social Worker does when sussing out which type of placement would be best, looks at the proportion of care that is nursing care and the proportion that is social care. This can influence the extent of contributions.

Lastly, some people are admitted to a 'place of safety' (invariably a hospital) for treatment under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983. On discharge, their Social Worker is obliged to find appropriate social provision for the individual, and this is funded under section 117 of the Act as aftercare. It's not indefinate, and some areas und it for a very short period of time before reviewing it and expecting the individual to then pay.


Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
The amount of time someone receives free aftercare under section 117 may be indefinite but it should be based upon the needs of the individual. A social services department that does not comply with this is acting illegally and should be challenged, first by making a local complaint and, if that fails to produce a satisfactory result, by comlaining to the The Local Government Ombudsmen.

The Local Government Ombudsmen Special Report July 2003, 'Advice and guidance on the funding of aftercare under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983' specifies that "there is a duty placed on local authorities to provide after care services free of charge until the patient no longer needs them. This is for patients discharged from hospital who have been detained under section 3 MHA 1983". It's not dependent upon any predetermined time limits or local practices and, as dementia illnesses are progressive and degenerative, it can be argued that someone with such a condition would have increasing aftercare needs rather than no longer need after care.

You can read and download the report on the Local Government Ombudsmen website:

Paul G - if you want to find out more about how you might get NHS continuing care (free care) for your mother, if she is entitled to it, take a look at this news item on the Alzheimer's Society website:

I also suggest you call the Alzheimer's Society helpline (0845 300 0336 Mon-Fri 8.30 to 6.30) and talk it through with them.

Hope that's helpful