Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below the most common questions we get asked regarding both Hillcrest and residential care in general. If you do have any other questions feel free to speak with one of our team on 01928 733615 or click the Ask a question link below to send us an email.
Do you offer a trial period of residence?

Yes. During the first 4 weeks you can leave with just 7 days’ notice. After that the notice period becomes 4 weeks

Does Hillcrest provide nursing care?

No, we are not a nursing home. Our pre-admission assessment will determine whether Hillcrest can provide for the client’s care needs and we will tell you if we feel that nursing care is required.

How is residential care funded?

Care home fees may either be paid by the individual (known as private or self-funding) or with assistance from the local authority. (In some cases the NHS may fund a placement but this is normally for nursing care only).

Local authority funding is means-tested: if the service user has assets above around £25,000 they will be expected to self-fund until their assets drop below the threshold. ‘Assets’ include savings, investments and property (but see next question). Once below the threshold the local authority will contribute to the care fees, however the service user must contribute most of their income to their care (including state pension, private pension and widow’s pension), However the resident is always left with a minimum amount of around £25 per week for incidental expenses such as hairdressing, newspapers etc.

Please also see the question about care fees annuities below.

My father needs to come into care but my mother is still living in their house. Will we have to sell the house to pay for his care?

No. Where there is a dependant living in the house, it is disregarded from the local authority financial assessment. Of course if there are other assets (savings and investments) these would be expected to be used before local authority funding would be given.

What is a third-party top-up?

Local authorities place a maximum on the fee levels they will pay for residential care. Where this falls short of the fees charged by the home, a top-up is charged to bridge the gap. This cannot be paid by the service user – it must be paid by a third party, usually the service user’s family.

Due to under-funding of the care sector, the local authority rates usually fall well below what is required to run a high quality home like Hillcrest. However we always try to make some rooms available for a reduced – or even zero – topup. It is always worth asking if we have any such rooms available.

Can my mother bring her own furniture into Hillcrest?

We encourage residents to bring small items of furniture as well as familiar objects such as pictures to make them feel at home. We do not accept large items of furniture.

What if my parent deteriorates to the point where they need nursing care?

Our philosophy at Hillcrest is to provide a home for life wherever possible. We have continued to look after many residents with deteriorating health well beyond the point where they would have been admitted as a new resident. However there may come a time when we can no longer meet their care needs, and in this scenario we would work in conjunction with healthcare professionals to reassess their needs and make the appropriate recommendation in their best interests.

What is a Care Fees Annuity?
First we must stress that we are not allowed to give financial advice, so the following is provided as information only. A care annuity is a means by which a self-funding service user can plan to pay for future care needs. In a similar way to a pension, in exchange for a lump sum payment the annuity will pay a fixed (or indexed) amount each month to the care home, for the lifetime of the resident. The monthly amount paid will depend on the lump sum invested (and other factors) and this may or may not be enough to cover the entire amount of the fees.
The annuity payments can either start immediately or be deferred until such time as the service user goes into care. In the latter case, regular contributions may be made to the fund – again similar to a pension plan – over a period of years until the annuity is needed.
The attraction of an annuity for some people is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the annuity will continue for life. On the other hand the payments do cease on death, and if this happens earlier than expected, some people may feel that part of the lump sum investment has been wasted. It all depends on the individual’s attitude to risk. For impartial advice on this or any financial matter we suggest you contact an independent financial adviser. See this page on the Financial Conduct Authority website for more information.