Care home fees will vary depending on the area that you live in, the individual care home itself, plus your own personal financial circumstances. Costs average around £600 a week for a care home place and over £800 a week for a place in a nursing home. We must calculate the cost of your care and how much you have to contribute from your resources. This figure must be realistic and allow you to access an appropriate local care home. This may take into account the value of your property, if you own one, as well as your income and savings.

If we carry out a care needs assessment and agree you have eligible needs for residential care, we will do a means test. 

Here’s how the means test for social care will look at your capital (your savings and property) and how this will affect your care home fees.

Means test
Your capital What you will have to pay
Over £23,500 You must pay full fees (this is known as self-funding)
Between £14,250 and £23,250 We will fund some of your care and you'll contribute to the rest.
Less than £14,250 This will be ignored and won't be included in the means test - we will pay for your care. However, we will still take your eligible income into account.

Certain types of income, such as money from certain disability benefits and pensions, may not be counted in the means test. This is the same for certain types of capital. All other income and capital can be taken into account. If all your eligible income is taken into account in your means-test, you must be left with an income of £24.90 per week. This is known as your Personal Expenses Allowance.

Personal expense allowance is a weekly amount that people whose care is being fully funded are allowed to retain from their income for their personal use.

If you have a significant health care need the NHS may contribute towards the cost of your care. If you’re eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, your care home placement will be free.

Selling your home to pay for care

Age UK have a handy guide to help you find out how your property will be valued, and in what situations it may not have to be included in the means test.