If you are a young person with disabilities and you have long-term care needs, you should make plans that will help you make arrangements for expected future changes in your life. You will be given information about how you will be supported from the services you receive as a child. 

If you are nearing retirement age, it’s important that you take account of your likely care needs and plan accordingly. You may wish to consider setting up a Power of Attorney Opens in a new window or an advance decision (living will) Opens in a new window. These will help people to take account of your preferences if you lose the capacity to make decisions. You will also want to ensure that you have thought about how you might pay for the care you need.

Many of us will put off planning for care and support arrangements until the last possible moment. Having an urgent need for care and support after a crisis may mean that you and your family feel pressured into making decisions quickly. Under such pressure, asking the
right questions, thinking and planning for your future needs - including options for meeting the cost of care - are vital. It is important that you seek good advice on these subjects so that you can consider your best short-term and long-term options.

There are several factors to consider when planning social care. These include:

  • The type of condition you have, and the best ways for you to stay healthy and independent
  • The type of care you would prefer, and whether it would meet your needs
  • Where you would like to be cared for
    • in your own home
    • in a residential care setting such as a care home
    • or in the community while you are living at home
  • How much your care is likely to cost and whether you may be entitled to free care or financial help
  • Who you want to care for you, and whether, if you want friends or family to be your carers, they are able and willing to do so

You will need to weigh up the pros and cons of each care option against the above factors.

One of the common decisions people are faced with, if they have an eligible need for a permanent admission to a residential or nursing home, is whether they should sell their home to pay for their care. If you are thinking about moving into a residential care home
and are worried about meeting the costs, we can provide information about a 'deferred payment agreements Opens in a new window'. This is an arrangement whereby you agree, with us, to pay some of your care fees at a later date. This means you won't be forced to sell your home during your lifetime to pay for your care. You or your estate usually repays us from the sale of your property at a later date.

Shared-decision-making is very important, especially for family carers. Check out these videos which outline how to ensure decisions are made properly.