This article was last updated on 1 September 2021.
Increasingly, people are looking at private carers 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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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.
The hourly cost of private nursing care at home is usually falls between £15 and £30 p/h with the average rate being around £18-20 p/h.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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
– 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.
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 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.
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.
The five most important things that you can do are to:
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.
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.
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.
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,
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:
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.
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.
Equity Release is increasingly a popular option when it comes to paying for your home care costs. See how much you money you could get.