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24 hour live in care and costs in 2019 

Live in Care is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to going in to a care home.  In this article we will help you:live in care

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

 1. What is live in care?

Live-in care is basically home care but its where  you have a professional care giver live 24 hours a day in your home.

This means that there is always some one on hand to help 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.

Here is a short video that explains more what live in care is.

2. What is the cost of Live in Care in the UK and how much do live in carers cost?

The cost of live-in carers in the UK has a wide range.   We often get asked how much do live in carers cost.  There is no easy answer to this.live in care costs

However, typically  24 hour live in care costs, from well rated providers, can start at around £800 per week and can go up to over £1,800 per week depending on how many people are being cared for and how many carers are required.

The costs of live in carers are such because in effect you are hiring someone 24 hours a day for 7 days a week.

Depending on your requirements live in care 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 a care home.

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 in a care home because you are living in your own house.

Try our chatbot to find a Live in Care provider – Go on, give it a go!

Video – A short video explaining more about Live in Care costs

It is important to determine your budget and the cost of live in care 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 residential care. This is because you’ll only pay once for live in care, but would be required to pay for two places in a care home.

You can get an accurate idea of the cost of live in care when you discuss your requirements with your chosen live in care company.

3. How do I find a live in carer within my budget?

If you are self funding the costs of live in carer then you will want to ensure that you get value for money.  However, we have found that there have been a number of new live in care providers emerge in the UK over the past couple of years.

This makes choosing a carer that re within your cost budgets even harder.

If you want some help with finding a carer within your budget we can help you – You can have a chat with ‘Rory the Robot’ 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 provider with you to look at in more detail.

4. How can I pay for the costs of live in care?

As we have seen, the costs associated with live in care can be expensive.  If you are looking at ways to fund the costs of live in care then we would recommend that you speak to a specialist care fees funding advisor.  They will help ensure that:

a) you get all the benefits and State help you are entitled too; and

b) ensure that you use the most effective way to fund the costs and ensure that any inheritance tax is minimised.

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


5.  Can I use equity release to pay for the costs of my live in carer?

Simple, the answer is YES. Equity release is becoming, by far, one of the most popular ways to fund care.  You can read about how equity release works here.

Video – A short video explaining how equity release works

Due to the costs 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.  The most popular types of equity release 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 equity release, you can watch this really informative video below.

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

6 – 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.

live in care costs calculator

7. What does a Live in Carer do?

Video – A short video explaining what a live in carer does

Live in care involves a person or a couple of people living with you in your home in order to take care of you. A live in carer will help with a whole range of different things.

In essence they will give you both one to one care and also help you around the home and with daily errands.

24 hour Live in care is most appropriate for individuals with moderate to mildly severe care needs, including personal care, mobility support and housework.  Low-level medical needs can sometimes be catered for by standard live in carers – but many providers do offer specialist live in nursing care, too.

The type of help a carer can give includes:

7a. Help in the home

Preparing and cooking your meals – Many carers are competent cooks and will work with you to understand what types of food you like and then make it for you

Help around the home – Mobility issues can often limit how much some people can get about their home, especially if there are stairs involved.  A carer can help the person needing care move about their home and make sure they dont suffer from falls.

Washing your clothes and ironing – They will be either able to wash your clothes in your home or take them to a local a launderette.

Do your daily household chores – They will keep your house neat and tidy, so you wont always need to hire a separate cleaner.

Looking after your pets – The person needing care may have had a pet for a number of years but are now struggling to look after it properly.  A carer can take on that role and ensure the pet is fed, walked and generally looked after.

7b. Helping the person needing care

Help with daily bathing, dressing toileting – Whilst this is a very personal issue this support is essential.  You will be able to choose a male or female carer to make things more comfortable for the person needing care

Help with giving medication – Sometimes people need reminding to take medication or have difficulty taking their medicines.  A live in carer will do this for you

Prevent loneliness – Getting older can be a lonely experience for some, particularly if the person needing care lives alone.  Therefore, the role of the carer is to give the person needing care someone that they can speak to on a daily basis

Provide companionship and emotional support – A live in carer can act as an emotional crutch and act as a good place for the family to get regular feedback on the health and wellbeing of the person receiving care.

Running your day to day errands – Everyone has regular errands that need doing.  However, as you get older, mobility issues can be a challenge.  Some live in carers will also have their own car which they will make available for running errands or doing daily tasks such as taking you to the hairdresser or doing your weekly shopping.

Days out – As some live in carers will access to their own car, they can often take the person needing care on day trips out to local attractions or even just to a cafe for lunch every now and again

8 – What are the benefits of live in home care? 

There are various clear advantages of live in care behind its increasing popularity.

Video – A short video explaining the advantages of Live in Care

Quality of Care – The first of these is the level and quality of care you’ll receive. With live in home care you are guaranteed a dedicated, attentive carer who is always with you and only looks after you.

This means that you’ll get a much higher quality of care compared with someone who pops in now and again at mealtimes and evenings. You can also develop a relationship with a live in carer – something that is especially important if they will be helping you with personal care.

Family and personal preferences – The other important benefits concern family and personal preferences. Live in care enables you to remain in your own home, either indefinitely or for an extended period.

This means that partners can stay together and pets can still be kept, both of which understandably improve your quality of life.

Maintain an active social life – It’s also easier for you to keep in touch with friends and maintain an active social life, as if your carer is happy to drive and travel with you they can accompany you to shows, clubs and parties. You may even be able to travel abroad, taking your carer away on holiday with you.

Relative’s preferences -Live in care is also favourable from a relative’s perspective. It offers unrivalled peace of mind, ensuring you know that there is always somebody with your loved one. This can also prevent accidents and can be incredibly important should you or your relative fall ill.

Create comfort in your home – By staying in your own home, you can make your own life comfortable by surrounding yourself with products that make your life much easier.  For example, we have seen a huge rise in people using riser recliners.

These are specialist chairs that help provide both a comfortable chair to sit in but also rise up to ease you getting out of your chair.

We have written a couple of useful guides to help explain the different types of riser recliners that you can use.

The first is about electric recliner chairs.  These are useful for anyone that has mobility issues and want an easy way to get up from a chair.

The second is about riser recliner chairs.  These are again designed for those with mobility issues with the aim of helping to ease any back pain that someone may suffer when getting in and out of a chair.

9 – How do I choose a live in carer?

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

a) Source a live in carer independently

b) Use a live in care agency

c) Use a specialist live in care recruitment agency

9a) – Source a live in carer independently

Many families start by looking for private carers independentlyas previously this was the only way to source 24 hour 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.

9b) – Use live in care agencies

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

Live in care agencies often specialise further, providing certain types of care for different conditions.

For example, some live in care providers only offer nursing care, 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.

9c) – Use a specialist live in care recruitment agency

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

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.

10. Is 24 hour home care right for me?

There were once only a few options open to people needing care. Older relatives stayed at home with the family, or eventually resided in a hospital or home. Now however busy lifestyles have changed both how we perceive and deal with care.

If you are being discharged from hospital and looking at your care options then live-in care is something that should be seriously considered.

Whilst unfortunately it’s no longer viable (or preferable) to take care of older family members at home, this new way of living has resulted in lots of interesting alternatives to conventional care provision.  You can read more about live in care for the elderly here.

One of these new types of care is 24 hour care at home. This convenient, personal type of care enables people to remain in their own home for longer.

Although live in care in only just emerging as a more popular alternative to residential care and sheltered accommodation it is set to become one of the most favoured choices available because of its ease and flexibility.

In this article we explore live in care provision in more depth to help you determine whether it’s the best choice for you.

11. What are the disadvantages to live in home care?

Live in care may not be suitable for everyone.

Video – A short video explaining the disadvantages of Live in Care

If you have severe care needs – If you have very severe care needs you may need to live in an establishment that has been specially set up in order to care for your costs of live in careneeds.

If for example you need a wheelchair to get about, then you could look to modify your home rather than move in to a care home that is catered for wheelchair use.  Therefore, this potentially makes live in care more accessible for you.

If you are in the market for a wheelchair, we have prepared a really useful guide that provides a number of top tips to help you choose the right wheelchair for you.

In addition, we have produced specialise guides to help you choose a transit wheelchair and a guide to choosing a self-propelled wheelchair.  Each of these guides will help you decide which type of wheelchair is right for your particular care needs.

If you have mobility issues – It’s also key to remember that if your home is no longer suitable for you (lots of stairs, few opportunities for adaptation) you may need to move anyway.

It’s also very important to consider the organisation and arrangement involved in choosing live in care.

Choosing the right live in carer – Firstly you’ll need to choose the right person (for this you’ll find tips and advice later on in this article).

You need a spare room – You will also need space to accommodate another person living with you. They’ll need their own private room – and they’ll be using your kitchen, your bathroom and your living space.

Having somebody else live with you – This shared living arrangement may cause tension – or may not offer enough privacy for you. If living with a stranger is uncomfortable for you then live in care may not be right for you.

Need to find replacements – As your live in carer is living with you full time they’ll also need time off to spend time with their own families and for holidays and breaks away. Therefore you may need to find a replacement and source ‘back up’ care whilst they are gone.

Agencies should provide a replacement – but if you have sourced a live in carer privately then you’ll be responsible for filling the gap.

Budgeting for the cost – Finally, you’ll need to consider budget. Live in care is understandably costly, so it’s worth thinking about how much you have to spend, and how long you’ll need to access the care for. You can find more information about the cost of live in care below.

12. Where can I find live in care jobs?

With a quick Google search you’ll find you can find live in care jobs in a variety of places online. All main job sites will often post these types of jobs.

However to be able to streamline your search and only find live in care jobs which fit your personal criteria, it’s best to adopt a targeted approach. Live in care jobs are similar to home care jobs, which you can read about on the site.

There are specialist sites (like our UK Care Guide Jobs site) that employers use to find the best people. These directory sites often enable you to request specific criteria, such as location, hours and the types of responsibilities you’re prepared to take on.

Live in care jobs with companies are often also advertised on the company sites themselves. You can usually find these under the ‘Careers’ section.

Sometimes larger companies have online application processes and forms – others simply request a CV.

Before completing any applications for live in care jobs it’s worth taking a look through your CV and seeing whether you meet the criteria of certain roles. This way you can also apply for jobs adopting a blanket approach, grouping together the roles that require you to fill out lengthy online applications.

13. Are private live in care jobs any different from standard agency work?

Yes, private live in care jobs are significantly different compared to agency roles. Whilst the role itself and its attached responsibilities remain the same, the way in which you are paid and supported differs.

Firstly you’ll be self-employed, so you’ll be fully responsible for your insurance, taxes and the relationship you have with your client and employer.

When you work for an agency you’ll be covered if you are unwell, your pay, tax, insurance and training will be provided, often free of charge. Conversely private live in care jobs require you to cover all eventualities independently. You’ll also be responsible solely if something goes wrong.

Private live in care jobs are sometimes favoured by clients as they feel more in control of the situation and are able to choose you personally and independently. It can also be more cost-effective as agencies naturally add on to the cost of carers’ wages to cover running costs and profit.

However it’s also worth noting that private live in care jobs have drawbacks for clients, too. Notably they need to act as an employer – taking care of paying your wages and carrying out background research, including conducting DBS checks should they wish.

Agency roles also provide peace of mind because of the extra training, checks and government regulation carers are subject to.

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.

Try the equity release calculator below and see how much money you can get out of your house to help pay for your Live in Care costs. I think you will be surprised at what you could get……tax-free!

live in care costs calculator

Use our chatbot to find a Live in Care provider in your area


Are you you looking at Live in Care? Get some free guidance and help from us, in conjunction with Elder.org.  You can call 0330 1345 958 and speak to someone that can answer any question you have.

Want to learn more about Live in Care, including what financial help you can get towards the cost?  Let us, in partnership with Elder.org help you.

You can call us directly for a free consultation or leave your contact details below and we will get in touch to help you.

Call us directly on 0330 134 5958

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