Sunday, 28 May 2017
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Paying for a Care Home in PortugalThere are roughly 60,000 Brits living in Portugal and of those, most pensioners are found in the coastal Algarve region. The popularity of the resort and the presence of a thriving expat community mean that English is spoken almost everywhere, making Portugal something close to a home from home, but with more sunshine.

However, unlike healthcare provision, the UK Government does not have any reciprocal arrangements to cover overseas residential care for Brits living abroad. A study by LaingBuisson found that the average cost of residential care in the UK is around £2,400 per month, with more specialist nursing care around £3,100. Costs in Portugal range from £2,200 to £4,400 per month.

In Portugal, the current service provision cannot keep up with rising demand, which has led to the rise of illegal, unregulated care homes. The reason for this shortage is partly cultural, as there is an expectation that the elderly will be taken care of by family, but in Portugal this is reinforced by a legal obligation for adult children to care for their parents, which means that care services have tended to largely consist of organisations providing care within the family home.

Careful research and planning ahead will pay dividends. For every horror story about an illegal care home, there is a luxury retirement community such as Monte da Palhagueira near Faro in the Algarve. There are, of course, advantages to returning to the UK to be closer to a family network, but it is important to weigh the options for this ‘third stage of life’ carefully. Waiting only until the need arises may leave you stranded without care or in disagreement with a partner over fundamental details such as where to live if one of you requires care and the other one remains in sturdy health

Regardless of the final choice, it is vital to plan ahead; care homes may have waiting lists of varying duration. State support, residency requirements and financial assets may all take some time to organise. It’s worth remembering that Portuguese care home bills would be in euros, and if the bill is being paid in full or in part by UK relatives, or from a UK bank account, the cost of care could increase due to currency fluctuations and the costs of making international payments.

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Comments  

+2 #2 john bentley 2017-05-14 08:51
It is simply not true that Portugese care homes costs are £2000-£4000 a month or anything like that amount.
The Portugese LARS average £1,000 a month with full care and many for a slightly higher cost have excellent facilities and will take non Portugese long term residents.Their staff frequenty speak English. In general their care and attention is of far better quality than English care homes and at far less cost.
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+2 #1 SueF 2017-05-14 08:32
2 years ago my mother-in-law had a stroke and needed 24/7 care. We were lucky and found a space in a local home in the Alentejo. The cost for a single room is €1,250 euros per month.This is a private home with a staff ratio of around 3 staff to one resident. Although the home caters for the local Portuguese many of the staff are young and speak some English and the care is excellent. One thing that has been essential has been to have a power of attorney for her as we can access her pension and have sold her house and possessions to pay the fees. In Portugal there is no such thing as an all-empowering POA so every action needed must be listed separately. Everyone is advised to make a Will but a POA is equally, if not more important, particularly if bank accounts aren't joint and the house and other possessions are in the name of the person needing the care.
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