Live-in care provider Elder has created a care funding calculator on its website to help people determine their eligibility for various care funding options.
The tool asks users a set of questions about the level of care they seek and their circumstances before breaking down eligibility and providing next steps to get funding, including links to their local council's payments application page.
Once a user has gone through the calculator they can discuss their options with an adviser.
Elder has teamed up with independent lifetime mortgage specialist Key to offer a live-in care plan with a lifetime mortgage.
The launch of the calculator follows research conducted by Psos Mori which found securing funding through social services was widely considered complex and stressful.
Elder tested the calculator on users and said 72 per cent were surprised to find they were eligible for some level of funding through their local authority.
Pete Dowds, Elder CEO and founder, said: "This calculator is designed for better understanding and understanding gives a feeling of control, it’s empowering.
"Finally, families across the country can be empowered to understand not just support from local authorities, such as direct payments but also NHS funding and even their eligibility for equity release."
He said social services had spent decades developing systems to handle home care for those that are partially or fully funded.
But these systems were built around hourly care and the care home as the only two options that are given to families leading to thousands of people being put into a care home before they need to, he added.
Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets at Which?, 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."
He agreed the care system could be "confusing and daunting" to people and "must often be navigated at a time of great stress for older people and their families."
He added: "That’s why it’s vital that people have access to tools and resources to help them plan for the future."
Venilia Batista Amorim is a freelance writer for FTAdviser