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Choosing a care home can be a difficult decision and we always encourage prospective residents and families to visit beforehand. This gives you a chance to meet the Home Manager and team, have a look around, talk to the staff and residents, and perhaps even stay for lunch. The Home Manager will be able to answer any questions you have about the home, and any aspects of paying for care.

If you are considering a Colten Care home, you will naturally want to understand more about paying for care. Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions our Home Managers receive from prospective residents and families. 

Q1. What do Colten Care's fees cover?

We charge an all-inclusive fee that covers the costs of meeting our residents’ needs for high-quality care in a care home setting. As well as the individual care we provide, fees reflect the costs of accommodation, food and drink, social activities, staff training, and building maintenance. Fees are linked to one of three tiers of care: residential, assisted or nursing. There are no hidden extras. The all-inclusive fee is to provide you with certainty and peace of mind. Should individual care needs change and a new tier is appropriate, the fee will rise accordingly but only after a discussion with you and your family and 28 days’ notice of the increase. We can also help with any paperwork for Funded Nursing Care (FNC) or Continuing Health Care (CHC), if appropriate.

Q2. Do I need to pay a deposit on admission?

No, you only pay for your actual stay from admission. Unlike some other providers, we do not charge large upfront ‘deposits’, additional ‘administration costs’, separate ‘maintenance contributions’ or for ‘care packages’.

Q3. Do all residents pay the same fee?

No, it depends on the type of care - whether residential, assisted or nursing - and the choice of room. We strive to ensure all bedrooms are beautifully appointed and have a pleasant outlook. The Home Manager can advise on individual room rates and, if you wish to move to another room at a later date, whether the fee will alter.

Q4. Is the fee negotiable?

No, the fee is linked to the tier of care required. This is determined in a pre-admission assessment and then through regular reassessments of care needs. Twice a year, or if your care needs change, we hold a review meeting. We will notify you of this meeting and if care needs have changed there will be a fee change. On admission there is a 5% discount available for couples. The discount applies to the highest fee only, not both fees. We also offer a 2.5% discount if fees are paid quarterly in advance.

Q5. Can I defer payment if I am selling my home?

Yes, we can help with that. We are used to situations where someone who needs care now has funds tied up in a property that needs to be sold. We recognise that deferring payment can help families make the right choice about full-time care when it is needed. We can defer up to 80% of the fees, provided the property is being sold on the market at a sensible price. We charge interest of 4% above base rate on outstanding fees which we require to be settled on the sale of the property. Please ask the Home Manager for more details.

Q6. Will my fees be subsidising local authority-funded residents?

No, unlike many providers around 90% of our residents are privately funded. Consequently we do not operate any subsidisation policy as we believe that would be unfair to those who have planned for and saved towards their care costs in later life. You can be confident that all your fees are charged in respect of your own individual care.

Q7. What local authority financial support is available?

A local authority may part-fund 12 weeks of care at the point you decide to sell your house. Local authorities can also offer their own deferred payment arrangements for care. This will typically involve a loan secured on your property. If either of these are of interest, we advise you to speak directly to your local authority.

Q8. Do fees rise every year?

Yes, we review fees annually. Increases reflect our costs and inflation. They are effective from the beginning of March and in the past few years have averaged from 3% to 5%.

Q9. Can you say any more about CHC and FNC, and how I will know if I am eligible?

CHC stands for Continuing Health Care and FNC means Funded Nursing Care. They are both criteria-assessed NHS funding contributions that can be accessed if someone has complex health or extensive nursing needs. When we believe a resident meets the criteria, the Home Manager will co-ordinate the funding application on their behalf. Please be aware both funding contributions are subject to reassessment by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and may be withdrawn.

Q10. Can we receive any state benefits to help with the cost of personal care?

Yes, in some situations you may be eligible to claim Attendance Allowance for personal care. To ensure you receive the right advice on eligibility and how to claim, we recommend you talk to Age UK on 0800 055 6112 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk. You can also speak with Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

Q11. How do I pay?

For all permanent residents, we require fees to be paid four-weekly in advance, by direct debit. We can help you set up the direct debit payment process. We send the invoice in advance so you can make arrangements for the funds to be available on the agreed collection date. The home will provide a schedule of payment dates for the full year to help you budget. For short stay residents, we accept cheques (which should be made payable to Colten Care Ltd), card payments and bank transfers.

Q12. What happens if I run out of money?

We require fees to be paid in full throughout your residency. If a person has assets of less than £23,500 they have become ‘capital depleted’ and that is the point at which the local authority steps in to help fund care.  We would advise that you contact your local authority a few months before capital depletion, so it can commence its process, and that you also advise the Home Manager. It is unlikely that your local authority will fund the full fee and therefore a family top up will be required.

Q13. What is the notice period if I decide to leave?

For permanent residents, we ask for 28 days’ written notice to enable us to offer the room to another resident. To help in the early settling-in period we ask for just seven days’ notice during the first six weeks. This is the period when we will ensure we understand all your needs and special requirements.

Q14. Do I need a Power of Attorney?

This is something you will need to take your own legal advice about. If a resident does not have mental capacity then they are unable to make decisions for themselves. For either a relative or third party to be able to do this on your behalf registered Lasting Power of Attorneys for Finance and Health and Welfare are required. Agreeing these in advance is a simple task that can help to relieve stress, and be a prudent way to avoid a court process. We have produced a Power of Attorney document for further guidance, which is available at www.coltencare.co.uk/talking-care. Alternatively, the home can provide a copy on request. For more information, call the Office of the Public Guardian on 0300 456 0300 or visit www.publicguardian.gov.uk.