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Financing care
Learn about funding options for home care, home adaptations and care homes, together with Attendance Allowance, gifting assets and Power of Attorney.
Housing options
Consider your options and learn about sheltered housing, retirement villages and care homes.
End of life
Guidance on the practical and emotional aspects at the end of life, from planning end of life care to arranging a funeral and coping with bereavement.

Glossary

Our comprehensive glossary explains the technical terms and jargon you’re likely to come across when planning care for yourself or a loved one

A
Advance decision
A legally binding document that you can use to outline specific treatments you don't want in the future. Also known as a 'living will'.
Assisted Living
A housing option that allows for more independence than a nursing home, but gives the option of personal care, nursing and meals being provided.
Assistive technology
Technology designed to help people with a disability or medical need to do things more easily.
Attendance Allowance
A non means-tested payment for those aged 65 or over who need help with personal care due to illness or disability and meet certain eligibility criteria.
B
Bereavement Allowance
A weekly government allowance you can claim if your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017, you were over 45 and you're under State Pension age. The weekly amount paid depends on your age when they died and the overall level of your husband, wife or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions.
Bereavement Payment
A one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment of £2,000 if your spouse of civil partner died before 6 April 2017 and you meet a certain eligibility.
Blue Badge
A scheme that allows you to park closer to your destination if you are disabled.
Bus pass
In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the female State Pension age, whether you’re a man or a woman. If you live in London, you can travel free on buses, tubes and other transport when you reach the age of 60, but only within London. In Wales, you can get a bus pass when you reach the age of 60.
C
Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)
The independent care provider regulator in Wales.
Care home
A place that provides accommodation, meals and care for people who are no longer able to live independently.
Care Inspectorate
The independent care provider regulator in Scotland.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The independent care provider regulator in England.
Carer's Allowance
A means-tested government benefit to help you financially if you care for someone close to you for more than 35 hours a week.
Carer's Assessment
A local authority appraisal of what help and support an unpaid carer may be entitled to.
Care specialist
A professional, such as an occupational therapist (OT) or a social worker, who can assess and accommodate individual needs.
Care plan
A plan that outlines your care and support needs, and how they will be met following a needs assessment.
Christmas Bonus
A one-off, tax-free £10 payment (2018-19) made before Christmas to people who get certain benefits, such as Attendance Allowance or Carer's Allowance, in the qualifying week. You don’t need to claim - you should get paid automatically.
Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA)
An additional payment for those who are ill or disabled as a result of an accident or illness caused by work.
Council Tax Reduction
Money off your council tax if you're on a low income or claim benefits, or a 25% discount for people living alone.
Clinical Commissioning Group
Statutory NHS bodies, led by GPs and other health professionals, responsible for planning and arranging health care services in different parts of England.
D
Deed of Trust
A Deed of Trust, also know as a Declaration of Trust, is a legal agreement that outlines how a property is held between joint owners.
Deferred payment agreement
A loan agreement where the local council pays residential care costs if a person is struggling or doesn't want to sell their home to fund the costs. Once the person passes away, or the property is sold, the loan is then repayed to the council with interest.
Deprivation of assets
When a local authority deems that a person has deliberately disposed of assets to increase their eligibility for local authority funding for care.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The government department responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy.
Direct payments
The way in which you receive your 'personal budget' payments from your local authority.
Disabilities Facilities Grant (DFG)
A grant available to people who need to make changes to their home due to a disability.
Domicliary care
Professional care provided to someone in their own home.
Downsizing
Moving to a smaller or different type of house, retirement village or sheltered housing to allow you to live independently for longer.
E
Equity release
A mortgage where no interest is paid until the house is sold. A way to free up cash, but it can be expensive option.
Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance
An additional payment alongside Constant Attendance Allowance if you're assessed at a certain level to need permanent constant care and attention.
Extra-care housing
Sheltered housing that offers additional help with personal care (also known as 'very sheltered housing' or 'assisted living').
F
Financial assessment
The means test used by local authorities to assess whether someone is eligible for financial support towards the cost of their care needs.
G
Gifting assets
The act of giving away money, items or property, or selling them for less than their true worth.
Guarantee Credit
A type of Pension Credit for people who are less well off. It tops up your income to a guaranteed amount.
H
Holistic therapists
Therapists that use techniques that focus on healing the whole body - body, mind, spirit and emotions.
Home adaptations
Adaptations made to the home to allow you to stay independent in your own home for longer.
Housing Benefit
A government benefit to help you pay rent if you're on a low income.
I
Inheritance Tax
Tax on the estate of someone who has died.
Intermediate Care
See NHS Intermediate Care.
L
Liability insurance
An insurance policy taken out to protect an individual or a business from the risk of being sued or legally liable for things like malpractice, injury or negligence.
Live-in care
When a care worker lives in their client's home.
M
Management company
A company that is set up to manage a group of properties or care homes.
Means tested
A test to determine your income and therefore if you qualify for certain benefits or grants.
Mobility aids
Devices that assist with walking, or other mobility, to positively impact your ability to move around with ease.
N
Needs assessment
Used by local authority social services to decide on eligibility, and the type of care and support needed by someone.
NHS Continuing Healthcare
Care fully funded by the NHS for people over 18 who have been assessed as having complex medical needs - this can be at home or in a nursing home.
NHS Intermediate Care
Free care and support at home or in a care home for up to six weeks following, or to prevent, a stay in hospital.
NHS-Funded Nursing Care
A form of NHS funding where nursing care is provided in a nursing home, but funded for by the NHS. May be available if you do not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Nursing care
See NHS-Funded Nursing Care.
Nursing home
A residential care home that offers medical care, with full-time nursing cover.
NVQs
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) recognise the skills and knowledge needed to do a job.
O
Occupational therapist
Therapists who help people of all ages with social, mental or physical disabilities to carry out everyday tasks.
Ophthalmologist
Specialists in diagnosis and treatment of eye and visual issues.
P
Pathologist
A doctor who works for the coroner’s office and specialises in finding the cause of death.
PAYE
'Pay As You Earn' system is a method of paying tax and National Insurance contributions.
Pension Credit
A means-tested payment to top up a retired person's income to a guaranteed level.
Personal budget
The amount of money a local authority allocates for care following a needs assessment.
Personal care
Care to support personal needs including washing, dressing, using the bathroom and preparing meals.
Personal expenses allowance
An amount exempted from income during the financial assessment, to allow for spending on essential personal items.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
A payment for people aged 16-64 with a condition or disability that means they need support with personal care.
Power of Attorney
Legal permission for someone to manage the affairs of another when they are no longer able to.
Probate
The process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died.
R
Radar key
A key used by disabled people that opens locked accessible toilets all over the country.
Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
The independent regulator for care homes in Northern Ireland.
Regulatory body
Independent regulators set up to monitor, guide and control sectors.
Releasing equity
Borrowing against your current property's value to allow for cash to be released.
Reminiscence work
Discussing someone's life history and stories from the past, to try and improve their mental health and wellbeing in the present.
Residents' Association
A group of residents who work alongside the management company of their properties, or sheltered housing, to share needs, views and opinions of those living there.
Residential care home
A care home that doesn't provide full-time nursing care.
Residential care
Care provided in a home for people who struggle to live independently and need additional support, ranging from personal care to full-time nursing care.
Respite care
A break from the role for a carer. It also describes a person getting specialist short-term care following an illness or operation.
Retirement villages
Housing developments built especially for older people to allow them to live independently and safely.
S
Savings Credit
A type of Pension Credit for people who have saved some money towards their retirement. Only available for those who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.
Senior relocation services
Companies that specialise in helping you move to a new or smaller home in later life.
Self-funder
A person who is paying for their own care rather than receiving any state funding via their local authority.
Sheltered housing
Houses or self-contained flats with communal facilities and a warden.
Statement of Purpose
A document written by a care agency that outlines basic company information about the services they provide, aims and objectives and contact details.
State Pension
A weekly payment from the government that you receive when you reach State Pension age. The amount you get will depend on how long you've been contributing and the type of private pension you have.
T
Telecare
Assistive technologies that can operate 24/7 and provide extra support inbetween carers' visits to your home. Gives a warning to a call centre or carer that a problem has been detected, such as a fall or lack of movement.
Telehealth
Allows people with certain health conditions, such as hypertension or heart conditions, to monitor physiological activity from home. Readings are then transmitted to a professional who can decide if intervention is required.
Third-party top-up
A voluntary payment to cover the difference between the amount a council is willing to pay to a care home and the fees that the care home charges a self-funder.
Top-up fee
See Third-party top-up.
Transferring property
The act of changing legal ownership of property into another's name.
U
Universal Credit
A government benefit that helps with living costs if you're on a low income, or out of work.
W
War Widow(er) Pension
A pension paid if your wife, husband or civil partner died before 6 April 2005 as a result of their service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces or during a time of war.
Watchdogs
A person or organisation that is responsible for ensuring companies or other organisations maintain certain standards and act correctly.
Winter Fuel Payment
A tax-free annual payment of up to £200 if you're under the age of 80, or £300 if you're over the age of 80 to help with heating bills. Available to people born on or before 5 November 1953.
Written statement of reasons
After applying for a benefit, a decision letter will be sent which should include a 'written statement of reasons' outlining the justifications.