Choosing the right home can be a difficult decision. You will be looking for comfort, a caring atmosphere and at a price you can afford. Risedale recognise that one of the major worries facing families is the financial implication.

Quality care can be expensive but it is equally important not to settle for second best. To help you understand what is available please read on.

If you require Social Services help with funding, they will first have to assess your needs and decide the level of financial support they are prepared to provide for you. If your savings and capital are well above £20,500 you can, of course, choose a care home on your own.

Firstly you must look at all your possible sources of income (net of tax), including:

Your own personal/company pension
Your state pension

Capital from:
- the sale of your property
- the sale of other assets

Income from investments such as:
- National savings
- Bank or building society accounts
- Shares
- Investment trusts
- Unit trusts
- Insurance policies

To help you assess potential sources of income, you may wish to speak to professional advisors, such as your accountant, solicitor, bank manager or specialist independent financial advisor. You are advised to seek several views in order that you can make an informed decision. Any Risedale Manager would also be only too happy to explain financial details.

There is financial support available to clients in nursing or residential homes. Details are available from Social Services.

For those entering a home after April 1993 and requiring financial assistance, you should first contact your local authority's social services department in the area in which you are regarded as a permanent resident. Subject to the local authority having sufficient funds available, you will then be assessed by social services for care needs and have to pass a financial assessment (based on similar rules to those for Income Support). For further details contact your local social services department.

If you are currently sharing a matrimonial home, the value of your home will not be included in the financial assessment by social services.

If you don't qualify for Income Support you may still be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance, even if your family or friends are meeting the full cost of your fees, regardless of your income or capital. There are two rates:

Higher Rate (if you need help both day and night) Lower Rate (if you need help either during the day or during the night)

For further information about Attendance Allowance contact the Attendance Allowance Helpline on +44 (0)345 -123456, your local Citizens Advice Bureau or the Benefit Enquiry Free Helpline (UK only) on 0800 882200 and ask for a claim pack for Attendance Allowance.

If you go into a care home as a private resident and later your funds are depleted to the £20,500 threshold, you will still be entitled to claim financial support. Approximately three months before your funds are expected to reach the threshold you should contact your social services department and explain the situation. Your care needs will then be addressed and the level of financial support determined.