How to get the right social care advice

Posted 21.04.2022

Most people won’t even think about their social care needs, until they reach either a point of need themselves or their family member has a personal point of need. When that time comes, it is usually a very anxious and uncertain time, and it can be difficult to know who to turn to for the right social care advice.

Arranging care for older people is not easy due to the complex social care system, so it is vital that you have the right support and advice during this critical and important time.

Working out what care you need

Your first step should be to ask your local council’s social services department for a care needs assessment. They will identify where you need extra support, whether it be homecare, residential care or day care. They’ll agree a care and support plan and you will then be means tested to find out how much you need to contribute towards your care and support.

Many people think that social care funding comes under the NHS, but this is not the case for many people. The government has introduced a social care cap, but the way in eligibility and payments are calculated can be complex and varies according to which local authority you live in.

How the social care cap works

From October 2023, the government will introduce a new £86,000 cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care over their lifetime. Unfortunately, however, the proposals come with drawbacks and ‘small print’ that makes it not as straightforward as people may think.

The proposed changes will not help many of the less well-off to the same extent as it helps the wealthy.  For example, anyone with over £100,000 in assets (the upper capital limit) will be required to fund their social care costs until they have spent £86,000, at which point the local authority will take over. Those with less than £20,000 in assets (the lower capital limit) will have their social-care costs fully paid for by their local authority.

It is also important to note that the cap only covers the cost of ‘care’. It doesn’t include food or accommodation, so the total cost of care is significantly more than people think.

Getting independent advice and support

Each Local Authority works differently and they may have longer waiting lists and different ways of calculating care costs.

To help you get the best possible advice, we have access to Care Sourcer[1] who has extensive knowledge of how the social care system works. They can help you through the whole process – from finding the right solution for you, to making the necessary financial arrangements.

For more information on this service visit


[1] The services provided by Care Sourcer are separate and distinct to those offered by St. James’s Place.

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