Home Care costs in 2018

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Home care costs in 2018 – The ultimate guide to all you need to know.

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:


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.

If you prefer home care and need some with you permanently, then you can look at Live In Care.  This is becoming very popular as it allows someone to be with you 24 hours and also allows you to stay at home. You can read more about live in care here.

The 10 most important home care costs questions answered

1 – Will I have to pay for my own home care costs?

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

In simple terms your property 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 care costs is £23,250.  If your capital and income are above this then it is likely that you will need to pay your own 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 to pay some fees.

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 home following a period in hospital may be eligible. In this circumstance, the NHS will meet all your care costs, irrespective of the £23,250 threshold.   You can read more about NHS continuing healthcare funding here.

There is a section towards the bottom of this page that has a lot more information and details on whether you will have to pay for your own care costs. 

2 – 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.care costs and paying for care

3 – 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 with the average rate being around £15 perhour.  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 £15 and you require seven hours of care per week (1 hour per day) you can expect to pay around £450 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 £15 – so it’s best to budget around that in the initial stages of your search.

Click here for a an advisor that can help you with your financial planning to meet your care costs.

4 – How do I plan for the cost of home care?

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.

5 – Who can help me plan for my care costs?

Its not untypical for your care costs 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 care funding options available to you.  You can visit our independent directory of financial advisors that can help you here.

6 – What are the different way’s I can use to pay for my care?

If you do have to fund your own care 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 property or using investment income.  You can read more about them below.  You can read more about equity release and care annuities below.

Question 7 onwards follow the calculator below

Using Equity Release to pay for your home care.

Equity Release is increasingly becoming popular as it allows you to release money from your home, tax free, and use that money to pay for your home care or make modifications to your house to make your living more comfortable.  If Equity Release is of interest, you can leave your details below and we will help you find a good deal.

Use a Care Annuity to pay your home care costs

A Long term care annuity is a way to use your savings through a third party, such as an insurance company, to pay for your care. This is often an advanced option suitable for those who wish to plan ahead for care provision in the future.

What is a lifetime mortgage and how can it help pay for my home care?

A Lifetime Mortgage and Home Reversion scheme are the two most popular types of equity release schemes that people use to fund their home care costs.


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: £

7 – How can I plan for the cost of home care?

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.

8 – What are private home care costs?

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.

9 – Where can I find a local home care agency?

We have over 10,000 home care providers in our database covering all of the UK. You can find a home care agency in your area by searching the database here.  

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

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

a) Make a Will – This will help ensure you determine what happens to your assets.  If you don’t make a will the government will decide what happens to your money and assets.

b) Create a Lasting Power of Attorney – This will help ensure that should your mental health deteriorate there is someone in place to make decisions on your behalf.  We strongly recommend that you read this section as there are two types of powers of attorney that you need to consider.  These are a health and welfare power of attorney and a property and financial affairs power of attorney.

6 Tips on how to fund your home care costs

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 fifteen years before perhaps moving in to a care home. 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 assessment also 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.

More detailed information on whether you have to pay your own care costs

We have answered below the main questions we get asked about funding home care.

1 – Am I entitled to help with my home care 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.

2 – 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.

3 – 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

4 – 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

5 – 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.

6 – 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.

7 – 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.

For more information, read our section on paying for care, which sets out the steps you should consider when paying for homecare.

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?

in home care

Do you own your own home?  If so, equity release could be a good way to pay for your care and have some money left over.  If so, leave your details here and a specialist equity release advisor will be in touch to help you.