cost of home care packages uk

Cost of home care packages and home help costs in the UK

Working out the price of the cost of care and specifically elderly care costs can be difficult.  

This article will tell you what the cost of in home care packages in the UK is, what we think it should cost. You can use this knowledge when you speak to home caring services.

In this page we will also tell you:


What is home help?

Home help support, or domiciliary care as it is also known, is a fantastic alternative to residential help but it is important to understand how much you are likely to pay for elderly care. 

It is often preferred by those who have lower level help needs and wish to remain in their own accommodation to reduce the stress of having to move out. Now home support is available at varying levels for each individual – making it a more accessible solution than ever before.

Yet like any form of care, there are financial implications – and although the cost of care is usually less than care home costs or nursing care, the money you spend can still mount up over time.

You can read more about the price of accommodation help for the elderly further down. There is also a calculator you can use to work out how much you will have to pay.

In this informative section we explore the cost of care, explain how you can pay for homecare – and share why financial planning is important.  Key questions and answers related to the price of home support are also set out later in this section.

If you prefer home support and need nurses with you permanently, then you can read about Live In Care.  This is becoming very popular as it allows experts to be with you 24 hours and also allows you to stay at home with care without further trouble.

Here is a short video that explains how it works.

The 14 most important questions about home support fees you should consider

1 – Home help costs – how much do carers cost?

One of the first things you need to consider when coming to a decision about a home help support package is ‘how much do carers cost’?

Naturally, there is a financial element to help – and you’ll need to budget accordingly.  If you are seeking help in working out the best way to pay for your care, you can read our support advisor directory for a financial advisor team that can help you find the best possible payment option. 

Every situation is different for each individual, so it is important you take everything into account when seeking a quote for your support services.

To calculate your averaged home support fees, think about how frequently you’ll need to access help, and which type of help you’ll require. For more help, visit the care quality commission council website.

For example, companionship and errand running types of care usually cost less than a more intensive personal care plan and assistance with medication and mobility support using specialist equipment. 

On average you can expect your cost of in home care to be anywhere between £15 and £30 per hour (p/h).

how much does in home care cost

1a – 24 hour care

If you need home care for 24 hours per day, this is called Live in Care. Here, you would live in a care home.   Care home fees typically start around £800 per week and you can read more here.

Here is a short video that explains more about care home fees and what it would be like to live in care. You should consider the attendance allowance for the care home you wish to move into, as this can determine how easily you can get a room.

 1b – Cost of overnight help at home

You may not need some-one during the day or with you 24 hours per day. However, you may appreciate some-one being available overnight to make sure there are no falls and help can be given going to the toilet etc.

Most companies offer this service and the amount is usually £1-5 p/h higher than day home support. These are just some of the factors you should consider when looking for support.

2 – What is the hourly cost of care at home?

The hourly cost of care at home usually falls between £15 and £30 p/h with the mean rate being around £18-20 p/h.

This means that if your home support prices are £18 p/h and you require 14 hours of support per week (2 hours per day) you can expect to pay around £1,100 per month or £13,200 per year.

Usually, you’ll pay the payments on a monthly basis, with a summary of the hours provided to your chosen home support service office.

Some people like to set up Direct Debits if they are in receipt of a regular amount of help. The mean price of home support per hour in the UK is around £15 – so it’s best to save around that in the initial stages of your search.

When you are looking at a care provider, it is important that you read about their home support rates.  Fees in the North are generally cheaper than in the South.

Click here for a local advisor that can help you with your financial planning to meet your support costs. This is an independent directory of financial advisors you can use.

You can use the blue elderly care costs calculator below to calculate your support packages fees, no matter where you live in the country.


Please select your current area (by county)

What year will you go into residential care?

How many years will you be in the care home?

Total Cost: £


Please select your current area (by county)

What year will you start needing home care?

How many hours a week of care do you need?

How many years will you need home care for?

Total Cost: £

Home Care can be expensive and finding the best way to pay is important!

Use our Equity Release calculator to see how much money you could get from your home, tax-free!


The money can be used to pay for care, modify your home, top-up your pension, help your family out financially.......and so much more!

3 – Who pays for carers at home?

Your ability to pay for hourly care will be determined through a means test called a Care Needs Assessment.  You can read more about that here.

Watch this short video that explains more about what this is and how it works.

In simple terms, your accommodation will not be included if you’re arranging care and support at home and may not be included if you live with a partner, child, or a relative who is disabled or over the age of 60.

The cut-off point after which you are responsible for meeting your own support payments is £23,250.  If your capital and income are above this then it is likely that you will be self-supporting your care fees. If your capital and income is under £23,250 you might get some help from the local authority, but you may still need your care funding.

Anyone classed as having ongoing and substantial care needs could be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare funding.

For example, Alzheimer’s patients with intense and unpredictable care needs, or someone who is recovering from a stroke in their own homes following a period in hospital may be eligible.

One other option is the personal independence payment, which can help with any extra costs if you have a long-term illness or disability. You could be entitled to receive between £23.60-£151.40 a week for a carer if you are over the age of 16 and have not yet reached state pension age.

If you are looking at hourly care options following a hospital discharge you can read about it in the site.  In this circumstance, the National Health Service will meet all your support costs, irrespective of the £23,250 threshold.   You can read more about National Health Service continuing care support here.

4 – How can I plan for the price of paying for home support?

It’s really important to plan financially for the price of hourly homes visits. As above you should consider the length of time you’ll require support, the frequency, and whether your circumstances may change in the future.

For an accurate forecast of your home support cost, you can also take a look at our handy Care Calculator above. This enables you to plan for the future financially taking into account the kind of support you need and your current savings and assets.

If you plan for the price of hourly home support, this gives you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to provide the funds for the kind of support you need.

care costs calculator

5- Can I use Equity Release to pay for Home Care

The simple answer is Yes!

One of the most popular methods for paying in-home support payments is to unlock the value in your home through releasing equity.

Here is a short video that explains how releasing equity works.

Equity release, in essence, is a means-tested method to take money out of your home, tax-free.  This can be used to modify your home, to make living easier, or to pay for a district nurse to come and help you.

Click the releasing equity calculator below and you can calculate how much money you can take out of your house tax-free.

6 – Who carries out my care needs assessment?

This is a means test undertaken by a specialist. They will work with you to see how you cope with day to day tasks, such as dressing, cooking meals 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.

6a – Social care financial assessment calculator

You should check with your local council to see if they have a social care financial assessment calculator.  This will help you alongside your care assessment to see what financial help you may be entitled towards.

7 – What happens after the care needs assessment?

Following the assessment, your local authority will let you know what packages either it can provide or can arrange for you. All local authorities have to use a set of nationally agreed criteria when assessing what support you are entitled to.

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 support outcomes. This entails whether you need help eating or drinking, or getting washed and dressed

8 – How will my Local Council meet my support needs?

Once the results of your assessment are known, your local council has a legal duty to meet your requirements.

Once the assessments have been completed, you will be given your own written personal support 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 support or a residential carer or nursing support.

home help costs

9 – Who can help me plan for my home support payment?

It’s not untypical for your support costs, over time, to be in the region of £100,000, which is clearly a substantial sum.

Therefore, if you are expecting to fund your own care costs then we strongly recommend that you speak to a financial advisor who can guide you through all the support funding options available to you. You can read our guide here on the why you should consult with a money advice service before moving into a care environment.

You can visit our independent directory of financial advisors that can help you here.

10 – Paying for care in the home

If you do have to fund your own support then we would recommend that you read our section on paying for care.

In essence there are typically 6 ways to pay

Equity release,

Care Annuities

Deferred Payment Schemes

– Using your savings

renting your home; or

– using investment income

The payment of support can easily eat away at any savings that you have built up.  Therefore, we do recommend that you familiarise yourself with the different ways that you can pay for your support and speak to a specialist to determine which route is likely to be best for you.

For another option, watch this video which sets out 12 tips to help you pay for your home support.

Home Care can be expensive and finding the best way to pay is important!

Use our Equity Release calculator to see how much money you could get from your home, tax-free!


The money can be used to pay for care, modify your home, top-up your pension, help your family out financially.......and so much more!

11 – How can I plan ahead for the price of my care?

It’s really important to plan financially for the price of home support.

As above you should consider the length of time you’ll require support, the frequency, and whether your circumstances may change in the future.  It is feasible that you need home support in the early years before then moving on to assisted living or residential care in the future.

The latter two options are often more expensive than home support so you may need to factor this in.  You can use the Green care cost calculator above to work out what your residential support payment could be. This will help you with managing your finances.

For an accurate forecast of your home support payment, you should use the Care Calculator above. This enables you to plan for the future financially taking into account the kind of support you need and your current savings and possessions.

You could also work out how much you are entitled to from your state pension or any disability benefits you are eligible to receive. You should also work out how much you are going to pay in council tax, utility bills and any home modifications and adaptations to make sure you have enough funds in your bank account to pay for your care worker.

If your home does need change or you need extra financial help, you could be entitled to local authority funding, which is up to £23250 in England.

If you plan for the price of support this gives you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to provide the funds for the type of support you need.

cost of in home care for elderly

12 – What are private home help fees?

Private home support simply refers to any support you pay for yourself which is not fully state-funded, and doesn’t come under the National Health Service Continuing Healthcare scheme.

As above, you can expect to pay between £15 – £30 p/h and the estimate is probably about £18-20 p/h.   Average payment tends to be more expensive in the South compared to the North.

Private home support payment may also be partially funded by your local council. If you are entitled to NHS continued healthcare financial support then the NHS will meet your support payment.  You should look into this as it may save you a lot of money in the long run.

With private home support, you choose the provider of your home support services. This means that you’re free to select whichever company you wish, providing your budget allows for it, as private home support providers set their own home support rates.

Private support in the home payment can be met however you wish. You may choose to use your savings – or may be able to cover them using your pension credit and benefits.

A private care home fee and rates must be paid for independently, either fully or partially. It is assumed that private home support companies offer a better quality level of care – and generally, this is the case, but of course private in home support payments are higher to reflect this.

13 – Where can I find a local home support agency?

We have over 10,000 homecare services providers in our database covering all of the UK. You can find a home support office in your area by searching the database here.  You should note down the company number or phone number for later reference.

14 – What else do I need to think about as I consider my care needs?

The five most important things that you can do are to:

a) Make a Will 

This will help ensure you determine what happens to your belongings.  If you don’t make a will the government will decide what happens to your money and assets.  You can read more about what will writing services offer here.

b) Create a Lasting Power of Attorney 

This will help ensure that should your mental wellbeing deteriorate there is someone in place to make decisions on your behalf.

We strongly recommend that you read this part as there are two types of powers of attorney that you need to consider.  These are a wellbeing and welfare power of attorney and a property and financial affairs power of attorney.

c) Set up a Funeral Plan

It’s never a topic we really want to think about, but the price of funerals can be expensive.  Therefore, we recommend that you look at pre-paid funeral plans.  You can read more about funeral plans here.

Here is a video that explains more about funeral plans.

d) Undertake Estate Planning

If you have any assets you will no doubt have some thoughts about where you want these to go when the time comes.  You can read more about the things you need to think about with regard to Estate Planning here.  You may also find our guide on avoiding inheritance tax helpful.  There are a number of perfectly legitimate routes that you can undertake if you wish to minimise the amount that is paid to the government when the time comes,

e) Consider putting your possessions and house into a trust

Whilst it is not possible to put your accommodation and possessions into a trust to avoid the payment of help, it is perfectly possible for you to put them into a trust for other reasons.  These include ensuring that you determine who owns your accommodation on your death etc.    The three main types of trusts that people may consider are:

  • Protective Property Trusts – They allow you to save a portion of your accommodation to pass on to a loved one, or members of your family. They are also known as ‘Property Trust wills’. Here is a short video explaining how these trusts work.
  • Life Interest Trusts – Allows you to allocate a beneficiary (usually yourself and/or a spouse or family member) who then has the legal right to receive income from or use a building named in the trust
  • Interest in Possession Trusts – It’s a kind of trust fund set up to entitle the beneficiary to any income as soon as it is produced.  They are very similar to Life Interest Trusts.

elderly care costs

Coronavirus and home care

The coronavirus crisis has had a profound effect on care services. If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or in a non-healthcare setting, then you need to understand how to protect yourself and everyone around you. 

You should help the patient you are caring for take any medication as advised by their GP, as well as looking for over-the-counter medicines that may help with the fever.

Stay in contact with them through the telephone when you are not with them, and help improve their understanding of the virus through regular phone calls. You can help with groceries and other essential items.

Limiting contact with them is very important as it can reduce the spread of the virus. If you are at a higher risk than the patient, you should not be treating them. Try and move the person you are caring for into a separate bedroom and bathroom if you are living with them.

If you have to share space make sure the area is well ventilated as this can help remove droplets from the air. Try and reduce home visits to as few as possible.

Look out for important warning signs and report them immediately if symptoms worsen. You should have their doctor’s telephone number on hand, and you can ask the doctor about what help is most appropriate. 

Other useful sources of information

Age UK (charity number: 1128267, Tavis House, London), is a leading registered charity that also operates across Wales, Northern Ireland as Age NI, as well as Age Scotland. 

Age UK has an advice line that offers telephone friendship through their friendship call support. Age UK’s advice line is available for all sorts of needs, and you can search the menu site to find what you are looking for.

Across this menu are several different links to other pages with more details about money and legal issues, wellbeing, care and support and learning.

You can also use these links to talk to a member of staff for more information about self-funding your care homes costs, home care providers and how your local councils may be able to support you.

how much do carers cost

About the author and her expertise

This article was written by Rose Walters a published writer that has written on a range of care related topics.   Rose writes from a lot of personal experience and is able to bring this into the writing alongside the specialist knowledge she has on these topics.

Summary of this page

1 - How much does home care cost?

Home care costs vary where you are in the UK and who provides your services. However, the typical cost ranges from between £15 - £30 per hour.

2 - How can I work out what it will cost me for my circumstances?

We have a care costs calculator that you can use to work out what your care costs would be. The calculator allows you to put in your location and how often you need care and provides you with an estimate of your likely costs.

3 - Can I use equity release to pay for my home care costs?

The simple answer is yes. People are increasingly looking towards equity release to fund their care costs. Come on to the site and use our equity release calculator to see how much you could get.

4 - How are home care costs calculated?

Home care costs are typically charged for by the hour, although some providers will do visits based on 15-minute blocks.

5 - What else should you think about as you go into home care?

If you are going in to care then you need to start thinking about wider financial and legal topics, such as estate planning, producing a will, creating a Trust to protect your assets. You can read more about these on the website.

I think I need some help.  Who can help me?

We could all do with some help now and again.   We have created a directory of professionals that can support you across a range of different issues as you or a loved one begin to go in to care.

A directory of advisors to help you work out how to pay for care

Care fees can easily go above £100,000.  Therefore, it is really important that you speak to a financial advisor that specialises in paying for care.  They will be able to explain all the options that are available to you to make sure you don’t overspend and get value for money.

Click here for an advisor that can help find the best way to meet your care costs.

Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which enables a nominated party (usually a family member) to make decisions on a person’s behalf should they lack mental capacity at any time.

Click here for specialists that can help you draw up a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Do you have a Will?

Making a will is one of the most important things that you can do.  Each year, 1 in 3 people die without having a written will in place to protect their assets for their families.

Although it’s often difficult or unpleasant to consider death, it’s very important to make a will – even if you consider yourself to be young and in good health.

Click here for writing professionals that can help you create your will.

Should the NHS be paying for your care costs?

Equity Release is a popular way to pay for Home Care.  See how.