Dementia care and costs

41% of all people receiving care have to fund it entirely themselves* and it is therefore fair to assume this is also the state of affairs for dementia sufferers.  *Laing and Buisson Care of Elderly People, UK Market Survey 2014/15.

Responsibility for provision of medical and social care for older people, including dementia care, in the UK is spread across the NHS and the local authority. Healthcare provided by the NHS is mostly free however social and personal care, including those with dementia, is means-tested. So you may have to pay for all or some of the long term care services that have been arranged for you by your local authority, depending on your assets and income. 

Please refer to our section on self-funding for more information, as well as advice on your financial assessment or 'means test'.

In a small-scale study by BUPA** in 2012, only 28% of people with dementia, who were admitted from their own homes to a general hospital, returned home after being discharged. 56% were discharged to a dementia care home. There is a risk that people with dementia may be at greater financial disadvantage because their need for residential care could last longer. This is because dementia is an incurable condition caused by diseases of the brain and this does not necessarily mean they will develop other medical conditions that might reduce life expectancy. Lifetime care costs therefore may be considerably higher.

In the case where dementia sufferers stay in their own homes to be looked after by a relative, substantial additional costs are frequently borne by that family carer. These additional costs can take the form of paying out for support services and social care or loss of earnings where a carer either reduces their working hours or gives up their job entirely.

There are other associated costs in caring for someone with dementia, for example securing Lasting Power of Attorney and additional travel costs where using public transport becomes problematical.

Please use our Advice section at the top of this page to make contact with a specialist care fees adviser to speak about the particular issues relating to self-funding of dementia care.

**'The times they are a - changin' - Bupa Report 2012