costs of live in carer uk

 24 Hour Live In Care Costs In The UK

Article updated 12 September 2019 and written by Rose Walters.

Live in Care in the UK is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to going in to a care home or to provide respite care.  In this article we will help you:

  • See if a live-in carer is the right option for you and your family
  • What options you have to choose a 24 hour live in careworker
  • How much live in care costs and the costs of a live in carer for the elderly
  • How to pay for your live in care
  • How to choose a care company
  • Live in care for the elderly

1. What is Live in Care

What is Live in Care is a question many people are asking nowadays as people look for alternative options to care homes. 

Live-in care is basically home care but it’s where you have a professional care giver provide support and help to you, or a loved one, 24 hours per day care at home. This could be on a permanent basis or where they are providing respite care to cover for an existing carer.

This means that there is always someone on hand helping you with your daily living.  Some care givers live in all the time whilst others work a rota schedule of, say, one week on and then one week off.  You can read more about the benefits of a live in carer here.

Here is a short video that explains more about what live in home care is and the support provided.

2. Live in care costs for the elderly in the UK

If you, or a loved one, do want 24 hour home care then the fees can range widely.  We often get asked “how much do live in carers cost?”  There is no easy answer to this.

However, typically  24 hour live in care costs, from well rated providers in the UK, can start at around £800 per week and can go up to over £1,800 per week. This care cost will rise if there are 2 or more people that need caring for at the same time,

The costs of live-in caregivers are what they are because in effect you are hiring someone 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. This caregiver may then take on the role other members of the family may have undertaken.

What you will find is that the costs can also vary depending on the types of services that you want from your carer.  For example, some carers have their own cars, which they can make available.  However, if you want the carer to make their car available then there may be an extra cost for this.

If you needd a live in nurse the costs are often higher as you need a specialist carer.  The nurse may be responsible for providing medication or undertaking specific medical tasks which require professional training.  This is what typically increases the cost of a live in nurse.

Depending on your requirements for 24hr live in care, it is often less expensive than residential care, which is why we are seeing more demand for this and less people looking to move in to residential care

However, these live-in carer costs are often cheaper than going in to a care home, as in effect you aren’t renting a room from the care home because you are living in your own house.

It is important to determine your budget and the cost of care at home before embarking on choosing live-in care. You can find support on financing care and calculating the cost of your live in care here in our paying for care section.

It’s worth noting however that if you’d like to access live-in care as a couple, it may be a significantly more cost-effective option compared with a residential care home. This is because you’ll only pay once for the care, but would be required to pay for two places if you were for example in a nursing home.

2a) Live-in Care for respite cover costs

We researched over 100 respite care providers and the average cost to have cover through the week was £700-£800.  This is where one person needed caring for.  Where there was a couple, respite care costs would typically be in the region of £1,200 – £1,5000 per week.

live in carer

3. How to pay for live-in carer costs in the UK

As we have seen, the costs of a live in caregiver  in the UK can be expensive.

If you are looking at ways to pay the costs of a live in caregiver in the UK then we would recommend that you speak to a specialist care costs funding advisor.  They will help ensure that:

  1. a) you get all the benefits and State help you are entitled to; and
  2. b) ensure that you use the most effective way to fund the costs and ensure that any inheritance tax is minimised.
  3. c) Depending on the severity of the care needs you might find that the NHS is responsible for meeting the costs of personal care.  This is through NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.  We would strongly recommend that you read up on this subject as if there is a continuing healthcare need, then you may not be responsible for paying and funding the care.  

You can find a local care fees funding advisor in our comprehensive independent directory of advisors by clicking here.

4. The role of a 24 hour live in carer

Here is a short video that explains what a live in carer does.

The roles of a live in carer are:

1- Basic care needs and companionship

Lots of people employ live in carers to assist them with basic care needs. They are independent and may not be seriously ill, but feel they need company and low-level support in the home. Sometimes these people have long-term illnesses or disabilities which mean they require additional support with basic everyday tasks.

2 – Laundry

For people with mobility issues or memory loss simple tasks such as doing the laundry can become difficult. A carer can take your laundry and dry cleaning to be done elsewhere or help you to do it yourself at home. You needn’t lose your independence – your carer will support you rather than doing it for you if you wish.

3- Cooking

Cooking becomes a chore as we get older, especially for people who live alone. The incentive to cook a meal for one is often lacking – and many older people suffer from malnutrition as a result. A carer can cook with you or for you, ensuring you eat properly each day and don’t rely on unhealthy or non-nutritious fast foods.

4 – Errands

If you need to buy a gift for someone, go to the bank or run an errand your carer can do this for you or provide transport. This makes running errands quick and easy.

5 – Food Shopping

Food shopping can be tiring – and without transport many older people struggle to do a big shop. Your live in carer will do your food shopping on your behalf or come with you to help with the heavy lifting.

6 – Transport

Most live in carers and required to have their own transport and a full driving licence, so they can take you where you need to go.

7 – Companionship

Elderly people are especially vulnerable to loneliness. A live in carer provides companionship – someone to talk to, someone to accompany you on days out.

8 – Cleaning

A live in carer can help you to keep your house clean and tidy and take care of everyday household chores, such as taking the bins out or washing up.

live in care london

How to find a live in carer for the elderly

There are a number of ways that we can help you find carers for the elderly

You can:

  1. Use the robot below.  Answer a few questions and he will tell you who would be a suitable match
  2. Use our Free Live in Care Finder service.  Speak to one of our advisers and we will tell you who we think would be a good match for your circumstances.  Click here to read more about the Live in Care Finder service.
  3. Speak to a live in care specialist straight away to discuss the costs of live in care. Please call 0330 1345 958 and speak to someone straight away.

Our Robot can identify a suitable live in care provider for you within 1 minute.  Give him a go!

5. The benefits of a live-in carer

When asking ‘What does a live in carer do?’ it’s also worth thinking about the benefits of what they do.

Here is a video that discusses the advantages of Live in Care.

It’s good to be aware of the positive impact a live in carer can have, as well as being aware of the roles and responsibilities a carer would typically undertake.

Associated benefits include:

1 – Reduced loneliness

One of the main benefits of live in home care is the impact it can have on loneliness. Loneliness affects over two million elderly people in the UK. More than a million told Age UK that they regularly go a month without seeing or speaking to anyone. A live in carer is with you all the time, so you never have to be on your own. Of course you still can have some me-time if you want, though!

2 – Safety and security

Having someone in the house 24/7 can be a great source of comfort for the person receiving care. It also provides peace of mind for their family.

Most importantly the presence of a live in carer can help to prevent falls – which can have catastrophic consequences for elderly people. From a safety and security perspective a live in carer is a sensible option, especially when an older person is particularly vulnerable.

3 – Better mental and physical activity

Loneliness has been shown to have a negative impact on mental health – but it also causes a lack of stimulation for the brain. This can be problematic, especially for people with dementia.

Having someone around ensures better mental and cognitive health, as conversations, activities and hobbies – even holidays can be shared together.

Physical activity can be improved too – as having an escort means you can get out of the house more often or even feel more confident moving about indoors. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend fitness classes if you want to.

Improved nutrition – Many older people find that they eat less or reach for unhealthy foods, especially if they live alone. A live in carer can cook nutritious, wholesome meals and ensure that the person eats well each day.

4. Enhanced quality of life

Lots of people who access live in care report enhanced quality of life overall. This is often because they’re able to get out more and do the things they love – like attending social groups, classes and getting out of the house on a more regular basis. If you have pets you can also keep them with you, which greatly enhances quality of life for animal lovers.

5. Improved appointment attendance

Without transport lots of older people miss important check-ups, such as podiatry appointments, blood pressure monitoring and wellness clinics. A live in carer can take you to your appointments, ensuring better health and wellbeing overall.

6. The disadvantages of live in care

Here are some of the disadvantages associated with 24 hour care.

7. How to find someone to provide 24 hour care at home within a budget

If you, or a loved one, are self funding the costs of 24 hour care at home then you will want to ensure that you get value for money.  However, we have found that there have been a number of new personal care providers emerge in the UK over the past couple of years.

This makes choosing a carer that is within your budget potentially even easier as in some areas costs are falling.

If you want some help with finding a carer within your budget we can help you – You can have a chat with the chatbot below (or clicking the icon of the man in the bottom right corner).  He will ask you some questions and then based on your answers recommend a live care company to you to look at in more detail.

24 hour care at home

8.  Using equity release to pay for live in carer fees

Equity release is becoming, by far, one of the most popular ways to fund care live in care costs for the elderly.  You can read about how equity release works here.

Video – A short video explaining how it works and how you can use it to pay for your live in caregiver costs for the elderly.

Due to the fees involved for live in care, many people are increasingly using equity release to fund their live in care.

This is because if you own your own home you are able to borrow a lump sum, tax free against the value of your home.  The loan is then usually only repayable on death or if you move in to a care home. This can be a big decision so you should always discuss the impact of it with your family.

The most popular types of these schemes are:

If you are interested in exploring this option please leave your details on one of our equity release pages.

If you would like to learn more about this, you can watch this really informative video below.

Alternatively, you can speak to a specialist for free on 0800 4640 806.  They will be able to talk you through the options that are available to you.

Private Live in Carer

9. – How much equity release can I get from my home to pay for live-in care?

If you want to know how much money you can take from your home, please click on the equity release calculator below.  This will help you estimate how much money you can take from your house, tax-free.

We recommend that you give it a go as it often surprises people as to how much cash they can receive.

10. How to choose between living in care services

In essence there are three options you have when it comes to choosing a live in carer.  The care services to choose between are:

  1. a) Source a living in care giver independently
  2. b) Use a live-in care agency
  3. c) Use a specialist living in care services recruitment agency

Source a live-in carer independently

Many families start by looking for private carers independently, as previously this was the only way to source 24 hour per day home care provision.

Advertisements can sometimes be placed in local papers or online directories, and carers can also be found through word of mouth recommendations.

Although this method allows you greater control, it is also very labour-intensive and time-consuming. It may take a while to find someone suitable – and once you do, you’ll need to interview them and ensure that they have been properly vetted and approved before they start working.

You’ll also be responsible for paying their wages and arranging shifts and rota’s.

Or you can let the UK Care Guide do it for you!  You can use our FREE care matching service, which you can read about here.

Or, you can chat to Rory the Robot (who you can find at the bottom of this page) and he will find you a live in carer straight away.

how much does a live in carer cost

Use a live in care agency to provide 24 hour home care support

Live in care agencies are often specialists in this type of care alone.  However, many traditional home care service providers also often offer 24 hour home care support.

Understandably a lot of work, experience and know-how are required to ensure that you are matched to a carer who perfectly suits your needs. For this reason live in care agencies are regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) and must employ workers who have been fully vetted and DBS checked to ensure that they are able to work with vulnerable people.

Some live in care providers only offer nursing care support, some provide companionship; others have specific experience with dementia. This should also influence your final decision.

Once you’ve introduced yourself to a number of agencies they should invite you to visit them, or arrange a home visit. They should be interested in finding out all about your care requirements and personal preferences.

Then as you progress you should be consulted on who will be administering your care – with a proper introduction and trial period to ensure they are right for you.

If you don’t feel that they are for you, you can source a live in carer independently. Private live in carers are still subject to certain regulations, but you should put appropriate steps in place to protect both you and them.

If you would like some help in choosing an agency, just get in contact with us and we will help you.

Use a specialist living in care recruitment agency

The third and final option involves approaching specialised recruitment agencies that deal specifically with experienced live-in carers.

They source and match professionals based on the criteria you provide.

The main difference between recruitment or introduction agencies and live-in care agencies is that in this instance professionals operate in a standalone capacity – and are self-employed.


As live in care is being considered by an increasing number of people each year, more of us are asking the question: ‘What does a live in carer do?’

The answer isn’t straightforward – but that’s actually good news. Live in care is incredibly versatile – so it’s a great option for a wide variety of people with differing care needs. This means that the responsibility of a live in carer are varied and can be extensive.

In this informative guide we’ll run through the main responsibilities of a live in carer. We’ve divided them into simple, easy to understand categories, so you can easily see which one best suits your needs.

live in care costs

11. Using a live in carer for dealing with mid-level care needs

This kind of care is most common. It involves a mixture of basic care needs and more specialist assistance.

1 – Personal care

Personal care is an umbrella term that covers a variety of things including help going to the toilet and having a bath. You only need to access personal care when you are unable to do it yourself.

2 – Medicine

Most caregivers can help you to take basic medicines, such as tablets, and remind you when to take them. Some may need special clearance for certain types of medicine such as creams and injections.

3 – Washing and dressing

A live in carer can help you to get up in the morning and get washed and dressed, and help you go to bed at night.

4 – Help with eating and drinking

If you struggle to eat and drink a carer can prepare special meals and sit with you to make sure you are eating and drinking enough. They can also work with you to find ways to make eating and drinking easier – such as straws, special cups and finger foods.

5 – Cleaning and changing (toileting)

Where incontinence is an issue carers can help you to stay clean and fresh at all times. They can monitor you and change you, cleaning up when needed.

12. Dealing with specialist or severe care needs

This kind of care is almost exclusively handled by a registered nurse or specialist caregiver.

1 – Administering medication

Some medications need to be administered by somebody trained and vetted to do so. Specialist caregivers can handle this – especially if different medications need to be taken throughout the day at specific times.

2 – Changing dressings

A specialist live in carer can change, check or alter dressings on a regular basis if needed – making sure any sores or wounds are kept sterile, clean and dry.

3 – Working with colostomy bags, sharps and catheters

Caregivers usually need professional training to work with specialist equipment and medical aids such as catheters, needles for injections and colostomy bags. There are live in carers who are qualified nurses who can take care of this for you – so you can remain in your own home and get on with daily life without worrying about waiting in for medical staff.

4 – Consulting with medical professionals and social workers

A specialist live in carer can work together closely with your team of medical professionals and social care professionals to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

5 – Co-ordinating medicines, appointments and healthcare professionals

If you are dealing with a disability or long-term medical condition it’s likely you’ll have several healthcare professionals looking after you. You may also have a social worker. Your condition may involve taking lots of different medications, and seeing many different people. A specialist caregiver can manage all of this for you, making sure that you are up to date and seen by all relevant medical professionals.

6 – Managing fluid charts and feeding plans

If a fluid chart is in place a more advanced carer can keep a track of this and add comments and notes on a regular basis. They can also manage special diets and feeding plans, ensuring you get the right amount of food in the right way.

live in care uk


Live in Care London

If you are looking for Live in Care in London then you can speak to Elder.  They are a specialist live in carer provider who are able to offer support all across London boroughs. You can call them on 0330 1345 958

Are you looking for a Live In Care provider?   

Just answer some questions and we can help you shortlist a provider that is likely to be a good fit for you in terms of costs and services.

It will take you less than 2 minutes!  Give it a go, you will be surprised!

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 in to the writing alongside the specialist knowledge she has on these topics.

Some more useful reading below




Tips on Live in Elderly Care

Tips on how to pay for care

Tips on how to avoid inheritance tax

See how you can use Equity Release to pay for your Live in Care

Tips on why you need a Will

Tips on getting a pre paid Funeral Plan

Read about why you need to do some Estate Planning as you go in to care

Read about whether the NHS should be paying your care costs

For a limited time only we are giving away for FREE our book on 101 Tips To Help Keep The Elderly Fit And Healthy! 


When the countdown ends so does the offer.




The book is normally sold for £20.  


Leave your contact details below and we will email it to you for FREE.



Unsure how you will fund your Live in Care needs? Use our care funding calculator to estimate your eligibility for various funding options and what you are entitled to from the government. This will allow you and your family to plan ahead.

Call us, in conjunction with Elder, if you are looking for care.


We can also let you know if you are entitled to any financial support from the government to meet your costs

Call - 0330 1345 958

There are 3 ways that we can help you find a Live in Carer

Speak to someone

Ask our Robot

Use our Live in Care Finder service

Answer 5 questions and the robot will tell you who it thinks would be a good fit for your care needs

Book an appointment and speak to one of our Live in Care Advisors who can answer any questions you have and recommend which provider might be a good fit for you