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HOW much do you think you would have to pay for private nursing care in the North West?

A new report from the consumer organisation Which? finds most of us don’t know.

And those who were prepared to take a guess underestimated the cost by more than £200 a week!

The actual average weekly private nursing care fees are £747 – £38,844 a year.

We are facing a looming financial crisis, says Which?

More than 400,000 people in the UK live in residential and nursing care homes. Almost half of these pay for care themselves, while the rest are paid for, either wholly or partly, by their local authority or the NHS.

For approximately 10% of older people with care needs, the bill they face is over £100,000 – and previous Which? research has shown that only one in 10 adults aged 55 or over say they’ve put aside money to pay for care needs as they get older.

Because council fees don’t actually cover the cost of a care home place, residents who are self-funding pay a premium of £1 billion a year to make up the shortfall.

Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said: “Many people are seriously underestimating the costs of care in later life – meaning they could struggle to find high-quality care for themselves or a loved one, or even face financial difficulties.

“The care system can be confusing and daunting – and must often be navigated at a time of great stress for older people and their families. That’s why it’s vital that people have access to tools and resources to help them plan for the future.”

To help, Which? has launched a simple online cost of care and eligibility tool:

www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/financing-care/cost-of-care-and-eligibility-checker