Don’t Fear Care. Take Control. Take Advice.

Later life care planning needn’t be scary if you plan early and effectively. Janet Davies, Joint Managing Director of Symponia, gives us her advice from her years of industry experience…

As an adviser I’ve been working with the families of people needing care for almost twenty years and the most challenging aspect isn’t the obvious job satisfaction gained from ensuring that the care recipient’s finances are secured indefinitely, it’s simply knowing that despite how many articles we write, conferences we speak at or TV programmes featuring the subject, the majority of families facing this situation just aren’t aware that specialist advice is out there. 

Sadly, it’s not just my thinking as the hard facts back this up; of the 53,000 new self-funding care home residents each year fewer than 7% appear to take any form of financial advice at all.

To me this is such a shame, not because it’s a hugely wasted opportunity for everyone concerned to explore all their available options but staying unaware of the potential solutions could lead to additional vulnerability, worry and ongoing financial insecurity.

Is this you? If so, don’t worry it might not be too late. If Symponia could wave a magic wand we’d grant each and every one of the 53,000 people mentioned above the chance to meet face-to-face with an adequately trained financial adviser.

Members of my organization, Symponia are hand-selected for not just their qualifications but also their care and empathy, this helps to set them apart from their peers and proves that they can be a valued and trusted team player at what can be a difficult time.

In a genuine attempt to inspire you and/or challenge your current thinking, our serious mantra would be “Stay in Control” & “Take Advice”. To make sure you and/or your family isn’t failing in its responsibilities and missing out on what could be a significant approach to the funding of your relatives care fees, we ask you to treat yourselves to a personal meeting with your most local Symponia member as soon as you can.

Recognising that the wishes and objectives of each family will be different all our members will work closely with you to not only provide a personal and bespoke answer to the continued payment of the private care fees but will also ascertain that all the appropriate state & NHS benefits are being claimed.

But it’s not just about the money; although the general feelings of wellbeing and welfare that often follow a care fees planning exercise are inextricably linked.

 Let’s look at the difference advice can make to a real-life family:

 • Mr Cole is 85

• Unfortunately, after a spell of ill-health, several falls and a mini-stroke the family needed to face the fact that Mr Cole could no longer live safely in his own home

• Mr Cole and his daughter found a care home he liked

• They both had a concern though; how on earth could they fund the £900 per week fees?

Without the opportunity to investigate the full financial picture Mr Cole may well have discounted the preferred home and moved somewhere perceived to be more affordable. However, having picked up a handbook at the care home, Barbara & Mr Cole met with a Symponia member

 • After detailed calculations their adviser was able to work out Mr Cole’s personal shortfall (the difference between his income and his expenses)

• Using the unique information in the advisers report as their lynchpin, Barbara and her father could see all their financial options.

• Knowing they were making a truly informed decision was vitally important and really reassuring

• They went on to follow the adviser’s recommendations

• Mr Cole could settle into his care home safe in the knowledge that his finances were sorted for the rest of his life… are you next steps? We really don’t want you to lose out on this vital opportunity, so what should you do?

• Request a copy of our Care Fees Planning Handbook

• Distributed by your nearest member

• Arrange a personal meeting and start your own tailored journey..

Alternatively, visit Club Symponia. A growing online community established to help people with that daunting but all important first step. Within the village there are real-life journeys, numerous free fact sheets together with the ability to talk to an one of our experts, whatever the question.