The NHS and Welfare State were introduced to the UK in the post war years in order to provide much needed additional help especially for the elderly in our community. In fact the UK State Pension is often the main stream of income for those in their later years. It is important to consider the benefits that you may be entitled to in later life to help fund the cost of providing long term care in your own home or in a residential care home.
Often many elderly people fail to make a claim for benefits that they may be entitled to because they are simply unaware they can make a claim or else they are put off claiming believing that the process is too complex. In a bid to make claiming easier it is now possible to claim many benefits on line or over the phone with staff from the Department of Work and Pensions completing the forms for you. The primary state benefit for those in retirement is the State Pension, however with changes in recent years many people will not receive their state pension until much later in life.
Care and mobility benefits are available to help pay for additional service or to just get around. If someone has care or mobility needs prior to their 65th birthday they may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance this benefit can be paid at various levels and is dependent on need. This benefit is often replaced once the claimant reaches the age of 65 by Attendance Allowance. Attendance Allowance can be paid either at the lower level for those needing care either through the day or through the night or at the higher level if the care needed is both day and night.
In some instances the Local Authority may be able to provide a Disabled Facility Grant which can help toward the cost of adapting your home to enable you to continue to live there rather than have to move into residential care. If you are aged over 60 you can also benefit from free prescriptions, free dental treatment from NHS dentists, free sight test and NHS hearing aids.