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Elderly homeowners can release equity to fund live-in care

Cherry Reynard
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Cherry Reynard

Retirees can release capital from their property to pay for care in their own home, as Key Retirement forges a partnership with live-in care provider Elder.

Currently around 873,500 people receive care in the home. Local authorities and Health and Social Care Trusts provide around £3.83bn of the £4.62bn total cost. However, this leaves a gap of more than £700m a year that pensioners have to find themselves.

Live-in care has tended to be confined to the wealthy, but many retirees would prefer it to residential care. Key Retirement found that around 50,000 pensioners had to sell their homes last year to pay for residential care, even though 97% of people said they didn’t want to move into a care home.

The partnership means Key Retirement’s lifetime mortgages – a form of equity release – will be offered as part of a range of options to Elder’s clients to enable retired homeowners to remain in their home. The plans are designed so that people never owe more than the value of their homes, and some plans allow a guaranteed level of inheritance from the property.

Elder has a nationwide network of carers, and can provide 24-hour care, home help support and specialist dementia care. Elder estimates live-in care costs around £770 a week while pensioners funding residential care privately can pay as much as £2,000 a week.

Pete Dowds, co-founder of Elder, said: “Most of us dread the idea of going to a care home and, even worse, the idea of paying as much as £2,000 a week for the privilege.

“We want live-in care, a service that was historically exclusive, to be available to all. It can usually be funded more simply than people realise and we believe the market for using home equity in this way is huge.”