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FAQS

Are you interested in learning more about The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s homes? If so, please see our frequently asked questions for more information.

Who can benefit from The Abbeyfield Kent Society?open
Older people who no longer feel able to cope or do not wish to live alone at home. The Society strives to practise equal opportunities and thus is open to all, regardless of race, gender, colour, religious belief and ethnic origin.
Can married couples apply?open
The Abbeyfield Kent Society primarily provides homes for older people who are living alone but the Society does have some double rooms which can accommodate married couples.
Why would I move into a residential care home?open
If you become unable to look after yourself in your own home, you may need the additional care and support offered by The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s homes which provide 24-hour care and a wide range of support in specially designed houses.
How do I know what is more suitable residential or supported care?open
It is vital that the Society is able to meet a person's care needs before offering a place. Our supported houses are for residents who need a little extra support in their everyday living. Supported houses do not provide personal care (such as help with dressing or washing) or nursing care (other than in emergencies and during short-term illnesses). However, main meals are provided. For further information on supported housing click here

Residential care is for people who require increased levels of support and personal care. Personal care is help with areas like washing, going to the toilet, getting dressed. However, residential homes are not registered as nursing homes, so those applicants requiring nursing care cannot be accepted. For further information on residential care click here.
What are the charges?open

The charges for our supported houses vary according to each home. Further details of these can be obtained by calling our Supported Housing Manager at our Head Office on 01634 723007. Low income is not a bar to becoming a resident and depending upon your own circumstances you may be able to claim Housing Benefit towards the cost of our charges. The level of any savings that you have may affect the benefits that you can claim. The Citizens’ Advice Bureaux or your local Benefits office will be able to give you more advice regarding this.

The charges for our care homes are higher than those for our supported houses with these reflecting the costs of the additional personal care and support that we provide here. Depending upon your income and savings you may be able to get help from the local authority towards the cost of your care fees.

How can I get help from the local authority towards my care fees?open

Whether your stay in a care home is temporary or permanent your local authority must carry out an assessment of your needs to establish that you require care in a care home before it can help you with the cost.  Most people will be expected to pay at least something towards the cost of their accommodation and personal care in a care home from their income and capital.  The amount that you will have to pay will be determined by a means test following the local authority’s needs assessment.

The means test will look at what capital and income you have.  Capital can be in a variety of forms including savings, investments and property (such as your own home).  The capital value of your property will be based on its current market value less any outstanding mortgage or loans.

If you have more than £23,250 in capital you will generally be expected to pay the full fee, however if you are looking for temporary, or respite, care then the value of your own home will not count towards this figure.

If you are looking to move into care permanently however then the value of your home will generally be taken into account as capital although there are certain exceptions to this for example such as if your home is occupied by your partner (husband, wife, or civil partner) or dependant children.

If your property is taken into account in the means test you may be able to enter into a “deferred payment agreement” under which the local authority will agree to provide funding as a loan to be repaid when the property is sold at a later date. This could allow you to move into one of our homes and begin to receive the care that you need whilst you are waiting for your former home to be sold.

How much help will I get from the local authority towards my care fees? open

Most people will be expected to pay at least something towards the cost of their accommodation and personal care in a care home from their income and capital. The local authority’s assessment of its contribution to our charges may include an amount that you will be asked to pay from your own resources, such as a pension or other income (known as a ‘Client Contribution’). We are not involved in the local authority’s assessment of your contribution and if you have any queries about this you should raise them directly with your local authority.

It is possible that the amount that the local authority will pay towards our fees, together with the amount of any client contribution that the local authority requires you to pay will be less than the full amount of our fees. If this is the case then a relative or other third party will be required to make up the difference as a ‘Third Party Top-Up’.

Will you need to know my financial circumstances?open

Part of the process to decide whether our homes are suitable for you includes a financial assessment to determine how you will pay our charges. All personal information that you provide here will be treated in strictest confidence. 

If your circumstances dictate that you must finance your own care home fees we would urge you think about seeking advice on this as soon as possible. Our experience has shown that once people are settled in our homes, fees may have to be met for a number of years. By taking appropriate action at the outset many of the financial worries long-term care can bring with it can be alleviated.

For example if your money runs out you may have to move to a different room or to ask your family to top-up fees over and above what the local authority might pay. Thinking about how you can deal with the potential impact of these situations now can help to reduce any worries that you, and your family, may have about them becoming an issue in the future.

Solutions for funding long-term care fees can include using equity release, care fee plans and, or, your savings and investments.

It is for these reasons that we would strongly recommend that you consider seeking specialist advice from an independent financial advisor, or IFA, registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on the funding of your care fees. You should make sure that any advisor that you speak to has passed the CF8 qualification (Certificate in Financial Planning and Long Term Care Insurance).

What age do I have to be to qualify?open
Most of our homes are intended for older people, although we do look after younger people with dementia. There is no upper limit on age for older people. People below 65 can be accepted into our residential homes after consultation has taken place between the Society and The Commission for Social Care Inspectorate.
Do you discriminate?open
We aim to offer equal and fair access to all eligible people, regardless of gender, family or financial circumstances, race, colour, religion, or sexual orientation. We aim to respond to individual need, whilst promoting diversity, respect and spiritual care.
Will my room be decorated and furnished?open
Your room will be furnished with a bed, chair, small wardrobe and carpet and curtains. All of the rooms are tastefully decorated to a high standard, however, long term residents may, at their own expense, decorate and bring furniture to make their room feel more homely.
Do I look after my own room?open
In some supported houses and all care homes cleaning is part of the standard service. In most supported housing, cleaning your room is your responsibility. You can engage domestic help at your own cost if you wish. The Adult Services Department may provide assistance.

In residential care properties the cleaning of communal areas and resident's rooms is included in the weekly charge.
Cooking is a real chore and I need a special diet. Can you help?open
Food is always an area of interest to residents and their relatives. It should not be a concern to either. 

Each of the Society's residential homes has a fully equipped kitchen and its fully trained and highly skilled cooks prepare fresh home cooked meals ensuring a balanced and varied diet. Residents who have additional dietary requirements such as diabetes or low sodium can have meals prepared to their requirements.
Will I have to share a bathroom and toilet?open
Possibly yes, but some of the Society's homes offer en suite facilities.
Is smoking allowed?open
The Society has a "No Smoking" policy throughout all its homes for the comfort of residents. Smoking is only permitted outside or in designated areas.
Are the rules strict?open
Apart from your obligations contained in your contract there are no rules other than those of common courtesy. The Abbeyfield Kent Society accommodation is your home.
Could I bring my pet?open
It may be possible to bring your pet with you. This would need to be discussed with the home and the decision would be at the manager’s discretion.
What about a telephone and television?open
There is usually a payphone for communal use in each house but many of the Society's houses have a phone-point in each room if you wish to install a phone at your own expense. Most houses have a communal television and some have an aerial socket in each room.
How will I know if an Abbeyfield Kent Society supported house will suit me?open
All houses are different and have different facilities, locations and atmosphere. It is advisable to look at several houses before you make up your mind. Talk to the Resident Support Group member, the Housekeeper and some residents to find out about the house. Some houses have a guest room you could stay in for a few days in order to help you make a decision. If not, you could ask if you come join residents for a meal.
What happens if I become ill?open
Minor illnesses will be managed within the home. In an increasing number of houses residents are able to buy in care services (privately or through Adult Services Departments) should they need them. If you have to stay in hospital for any reason it will be taken for granted that you will return to your room when you are well enough.

The Society is not registered to provide nursing care. If you become very frail or develop a long term illness it may be necessary for you to move to another care home or one run by another organisation. This will be done in consultation with you, your sponsor, family or friends and the Local Health Authority.

It is important to ask at the house you are applying to what sort of frailty or disability can be supported.
Can I go straight in to a care home?open
Residents currently living in the Society’s supported houses are usually given priority in moving to a residential home, but the Society also welcomes direct entry from the local community.
Why can’t I choose an Abbeyfield Kent Society home as I would a hotel?open
An Abbeyfield Kent Society house has a responsibility to assess the needs of those who apply to ensure the resident’s needs can be met and the accommodation is suitable.
Do all Abbeyfield Societies operate in the same way?open
All Abbeyfield Societies are bound by The Abbeyfield Society’s guiding principles; but otherwise they are locally managed and are responsive to local needs and conditions.
How can I find out about particular residential homes and supported houses?open
Click here to find a home near you.
If you want further information, please contact us using the information request form, or by e-mail.