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Home care costs – We will help you work out what care will cost you
I think you will agree that working out what your home care costs will be is difficult. So many
options, so many different costs!
That is why we have created our care costs calculator to help you work out how much your home care will cost you! The calculator is about a third of the way down this page.
We will tell you what we think it should cost you, and you can use this information when you speak to care agencies.
In this page we will also tell you:
AN ESTIMATE OF WHAT YOUR HOME CARE WILL COST
6 TIPS ON HOW TO PLAN TO PAY FOR YOUR HOME CARE
ANSWER THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ABOUT HOME CARE COSTS
HELP YOU FIND A HOME CARE PROVIDER
Lets quickly start at the beginning – what is home care?
Home care, or domiciliary care as it is also known, is a fantastic alternative to residential care but it is important to understand your likely home care costs if this is a route you go down.
It is often preferred by those who have lower level care needs and wish to remain in their own home. Now homecare is available at varying levels for many different types of individuals – making it more accessible than ever before.
Yet like any form of care there are financial implications – and although the cost of home care is usually less than residential or nursing care, the money you spend can still mount up over time. In this informative section we explore the cost of home care, explain how you can pay for home care – and share why financial planning is important. Key question and answers related to home care costs are also set out later in this section.
How much is home care going to cost me?
One of the first questions you need to consider when coming to a decision about home care is: how much does home care cost?
Naturally there is a financial element to care – and you’ll need to budget accordingly. If you are looking for help in working out the best way to pay for your care, you can look at our care advisor directory for a financial advisor that can help you find the best possible funding option.
To calculate your estimated home care cost, think about how frequently you’ll need to access care, and which type of care you’ll require.
For example, companionship and errand running types of care usually cost less than more intensive personal care and assistance with medication and mobility support. On average you can expect your home care cost to be anywhere between £10 and £30 per hour.
Use the cost calculator below to work out home care costs are in your area.
On average what do home care costs per hour look like?
Mostly you’ll find you’ll pay for home care costs per hour. As above, home care costs per hour usually fall between £10 and £30. When you are looking at a provider, it is important that you look at their home care rates.
This means that if your home care costs per hour are £11 and you require five hours of care per week you can expect to pay around £220 per month. Usually you’ll pay for the home care cost on a monthly basis, with a summary of the hours provided. Some people like to set up Direct Debits if they are in receipt of a regular amount of care. The average home care costs per hour in the UK are around £13 – so it’s best to budget around that in the initial stages of your search.
It’s really important to plan financially for the cost of home care. As above you should consider the length of time you’ll require care, the frequency, and whether your circumstances may change in the future.
For an accurate forecast of your home care cost you can also take a look at our handy Care Calculator below. This enables you to plan for the future financially taking into account the type of care you need and your current budget and assets. If you plan for the cost of home care this gives you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to provide the funds for the type of care you need.
Private home care simply refers to any care you pay for yourself which is not fully government funded, and doesn’t come under the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme. Private home care costs may also be partially funded by your local authority.
With private home care you choose the provider of your home care. This means that you’re free to select whichever company you wish, providing your budget allows for it, as private home care providers set their own home care rates. Private home care costs can be met however you wish. You may choose to use your savings – or may be able to cover them using your pension and benefits.
Private home care costs and rates must be paid for independently, either fully or partially. It is assumed that private home care companies offer a better quality level of care – and generally this is the case, but of course private home care costs are higher to reflect this.
Tips on how to fund your care costs and what you should think about
It’s very important to think carefully about paying for home care.
Tip 1 – Remember your circumstances can change
If you are accessing home care aged 60 and don’t expect your condition to worsen imminently you can expect to be paying for home care for at least ten years. When paying for home care in a more difficult situation such as when a person requires palliative care, you can predict a shorter period of care provision.
Tip 2 – Plan for more intensive care as you get older
Although you may assume that you won’t deteriorate in the future (and it’s unpleasant to consider this) it’s better to plan for a more intensive care requirement rather than leave it to chance and run out of money at a later stage. Also remember that you may need to move into residential care at a later stage and will need to plan for this.
We recommend you start thinking early about how you will pay for your longer term costs. You can read our guides that set out all the different ways to pay for your care.
Tip 3 – See if you can get financial support from your financial authority
You will need to use any assets available to you to pay for home care. This includes your pension, savings and any benefits you receive, as well as assets such as property. Any financial support you may be entitled to from your local authority will be means tested, but it is important to find out whether you are entitled to it, as otherwise you could be spending money you don’t need to. A means test will take into account your current financial situation including all of the above elements.
Tip 4- Closely monitor your savings and assets
Currently the threshold for full funding is £23,500. This means that if you possess assets amounting to £23,500 or more you will not be eligible for subsidised support. However it’s expected that you may need support in the future – so you can contact your local authority at a later date should your funds run out.
Tip 5 – Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
It’s important to check that you are not entitled to any benefits which may be used towards the cost of paying for home care (such as Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance).
Here is a useful video that provides more information on Carer’s allowance.
Tip 6 – Make sure you have a care needs assessment
You should also ensure that a care needs assessment has been conducted so that you are aware of the exact level of care you need. This can be arranged by your GP, consultant or social care worker. A care needs assessmentalso determines whether you may be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare. This is medical care provision in the home offered free of charge – but only those with recognised specified health conditions are eligible.
Your key questions on home care costs answered quickly
We have answered below the main questions we get asked about funding home care.
Am I entitled to help with my homecare costs and what is a care needs and financial assessment?
A care needs assessment is a way of the local authority helping to work out what your care needs are so that they can work out the best way to help you.
A care needs assessment is designed to ensure that you have an active role in explaining what support you need. For example, you may have a desire to stay in your own home, but you just want some extra support to help do this.
Who carries out the care needs assessment?
The assessment will be undertaken by a specialist. They will work with you to see how you cope with day to day activities, such as dressing, cooking and washing. This is known as identifying your ‘care outcomes’.
It is important that you are open and honest with the assessor, so if you do have someone that helps you with your daily activities, please do tell them. The assessor needs to know how many ‘care outcomes’ you need help with, as this in turn helps identify whether you are eligible for support.
What happens after the care needs assessment?
Following the care needs assessment, your local authority will let you know what services either it can provide or can arrange for you. All local authorities have to use a set of nationally agreed criteria when assessing what care you are entitled too.
You will be entitled to support if you meet all of the following criteria:
you have a mental or physical need
you are suffering from an illness
there is an impact on your well-being because you’re not getting the help you need
you are unable to achieve two or more of the care outcomes. These are things like whether you need help eating or drinking, or getting washed and dressed
How will my Local Authority meet my care needs?
Once the results of your assessment are known, your local authority has a legal duty to meet your requirements.
Once the assessments have been completed, you will be given your own written personal care plan. This will set out the support that will be provided, and can include such areas as:
help with cleaning or shopping in your own home
access to day centres to give your carer a break
modifications to your home to help you move around or use the bathroom
whether you need residential care or residential care with nursing support
Will I have to pay for anything towards my care?
Your local authority will provide some support for free. However, there are some services that you may need to pay for depending on the value of your income or savings.
You may also qualify for NHS funding if you have a disability or a complex medical condition, as this means you have healthcare needs rather than social care needs.
Your local authority will look at the value of your savings and assets. If you have more than £23,250 then your local authority will not contribute.
If your local authority agrees to fund part or all of your care costs, direct payments or a personal budget are paid to you by your local authority and you choose how you want to meet your care needs. Usually, this is what you will pay to any agency providing care at home.
What does care in the home cost?
Please use the calculator at the top of this page to help estimate how much care in the home will cost you.
I have to pay for my care. How can I best do this?
If the assessment says that you need to fund your own care, it is really important that you think about the funding options available to you and take specialist advice to ensure you receive all the benefits you are entitled too. In addition, a specialist advisor will be able to help you get value for money if you need to buy a product. You can read our section on the benefits of speaking to a financial advisor here.