How Much Does in Home Care Cost

How Much Does Home Care Cost In The UK? | April 2024

Working out the price of the cost of home 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 about the cost of in home care for elderly people.

In this page we will also tell you:

Topics that you will find covered on this page

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. 

Increasingly, people are looking to private care as an option for elderly family members. 

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 home 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 home care costs, 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.

Click here to see the video on youtube.

The most important questions about cost of in home care you should consider

Elderly care 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’? What you will find is that the cost of in home care often depends on where you live in the UK.

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, for the cost of overnight care at home in the uk, or day care, you can expect your home help costs to be anywhere between £15 and £30 per hour.

24 hour home care

If you need home care for 24 hours per day, this is called Live in Care. As an alternative to 24 hour home care, you could 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.

How much does overnight care cost?

You may not need someone 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 cost of overnight care at home services is usually £17 per hour.  This is higher than home support during the day. These are just some of the factors you should consider when looking for support.

How much do care agencies charge per hour?

The hourly cost of private nursing care at home, provided by care agencies,  usually falls between £15 and £30 per hour with the average rate being around £18-20 per hour.

This means that if your hired home help costs 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 hourly cost of care at home 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

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.

How much does a private carer cost?

If you are considering private elderly care, you will need to think about the costs of different private care providers. 

The cost of a private carer can vary depending on several factors, such as location, level of care required, and the specific services provided. Private carers rates are normally set on an individual basis, which can range from hourly to live-in arrangements. 

Private care at home offers personalised attention and flexibility, but it’s essential to consider the associated costs. When determining the cost of private carers, it’s advisable to research local private care costs and compare different providers to get an idea of the prevailing rates in your area.

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.

private carers for elderly

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.

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.

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

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.

How else can I get help with in home care costs?

Consider the following possibilities to get more help with the costs of in-home care in the UK:

Local Government Support

To find out about financial help programmes for the cost of homecare, get in touch with your local government. They can carry out an assessment to evaluate your eligibility for support and offer information on financing possibilities for care at home costs. 

Continued NHS Healthcare

You might be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare if you have complex healthcare needs. If you match the eligibility requirements, this programme will pay for all of your care expenses, including private home care. For more information, get in touch with your neighbourhood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). When addressing your needs, make sure to emphasise the cost of home carers.

Benefits Tested by Means

Investigate means-tested assistance programmes, including Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). These benefits can help with the cost of in-home care or private home care and are intended to help those with disabilities or chronic health conditions. 

Nonprofit organisations

In the UK, a number of charities and nonprofit organisations provide funding or support plans expressly for in-home care expenses. Investigate regional agencies that offer aid for private home care, and find out what qualifications they require.

Direct payments and individual budgets

You can be eligible for a personal budget from your local government if you are eligible for social care support. You are able to choose and pay for your preferred homecare services, including private home carers, thanks to this allocation of funding. 
A family member or friend who regularly looks after you may be qualified for Carer’s Allowance, a government payment in the UK. By giving the carer financial support, this allowance can reduce the price of in-home care.
home help costs

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.

Private carers for elderly family members – How to pay for them?

If you do have to fund your own support and need to find private carers for elderly family members,  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 suppor

How much does a carer cost per hour in the UK?

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.

How much does a carer cost per hour in the UK is a question we often get asked.  The answer is that you can expect to pay between £15 – £30 per hour and the estimate is probably about £18-20 per hour.   Average home help costs tend 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.

How much does a live-in carer cost per week?

A live-in carer, such as a live in nurse, might range in price depending on a number of variables. The degree of care necessary as well as the particular services required are important factors to take into account. 

The 24 hour live in care cost can be influenced by factors such as the location, the qualifications and experience of the live in nurse, and any additional specialised care requirements. To get a more precise idea of the live in nurse cost per week, it is advisable to look up local pricing and speak with respected care companies or providers.

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.

Can I hire a nurse for a day?

Yes, you can hire a private nurse for a day. Hiring a nurse on a short-term or temporary basis is common, particularly for individuals who require specific medical care or assistance during recovery from an illness or surgery.

The cost of a private nurse will depend on factors such as the nurse’s qualifications, experience, and the duration of their services. It’s advisable to research local providers or agencies that offer private nurse hire and inquire about their rates and availability.

By discussing the cost of a private nurse and your specific needs, you can find suitable options for hiring a nurse for a day.

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.

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

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.

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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