BBC launches care costs calculator

The BBC has launched an online calculator to help older people and their families assess the cost of care.

When they enter their postcode into the calculator, it will provide typical costs locally for both residential care and care in their own home.

The calculator also shows how the government’s £72,000 cap on care costs, which will apply from April 2016, will affect them. The cap does not include “hotel” costs in residential care, such as food and accommodation.

When details of assets such as property, savings and pension income are entered, the calculator will work out how much someone might have to contribute, and over what period of time, before reaching the cap.

Care Minister Norman Lamb described the calculator – which has been created using data from care sector analysts LaingBuisson, local authorities and the Freedom of Information Act – as “a fantastic resource.”

Caroline Abrahams, of the charity Age UK, added: “The BBC’s care cap calculator is a useful tool that brings some clarity to a complicated system.”

The calculator, which was launched on 26 January, can be found here.