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This article was last updated on 1 October 2020.  

Live in carer costs in the UK

Live in care and the use of a live in carer is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to going into a care home and respite care. In this article we will help you:

  • See if hiring a live in caregiver is the right option for you and your family
  • What options you have when it comes to choosing 24 hour carers
  • How much 24 hour care at home costs compared to residential care home costs
  • How to pay for your live in care services (the different funding options available)
  • How to choose a cost effective care company
  • The benefits of live in care for the elderly
  • What is included in elderly live in care jobs: the types of support that a carer provides day to day

Topics that you will find covered on this page

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. The cost of live in care tends to be cheaper per week than residential care home fees.

Live in care is basically home care, but it’s where you have a professional caregiver 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.

In England you will need to pay for your care home costs, home care costs or live in care costs if you have more than £23,250 in savings.  

This means that there is always someone on hand helping you with your daily living, making sure your care needs are met, and giving you peace of mind. Some caregivers 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. How much does a live in carer cost for the elderly in the UK

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

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 two or more people that need caring for at the same time.

The cost of live in care is this price because you are effectively hiring someone 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. This caregiver may then take on the role that other members of the family had undertaken, and provide round the clock support for you or your loved one.

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 need 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 24 hour live in care, it is often less expensive than residential care. Because receiving care at home costs less, we are seeing more demand for this and fewer people are looking to move into residential care. 

One reason 24 hour live in carer costs are often cheaper than going into a residential care home is that you aren’t renting a room from the care home. Instead, you are continuing to live in your own house and will actually be providing accommodation to the domiciliary care worker.

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 nursing care in the UK here in our paying for care section.

It is also worth noting that if you’d like to access senior live in care as a couple, it may be a significantly more cost effective option compared with a residential care home. 

The cost of in home care would be lower for couples in these circumstances because you’ll only pay once for the care service. Whereas if you were each moving into a residential care home, you would be required to pay for two places.

2a) Live-in Care for respite cover costs

We researched over 100 respite care service providers and the average cost to have live in care coverage through the week was £700-£800 per week.  

This average live in home carer cost is based on one individual needing care. Where there was a couple, live in care cost rose to the region of £1,200 – £1,500 per week.

live in care

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. You get all the benefits and State help you are entitled to, and
  2. You use the most effective way to fund the costs and ensure that any inheritance tax is minimised, and
  3. 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 services.  

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 – What care jobs do they do?

The care jobs that a live in carer often does include:

1- Basic care needs and companionship

Lots of people employ a live in care provider to assist them with their 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.

If you need more support, the cost of live in care may be higher per week. This is because the care provider needs to have more specialist skills in order to properly give your home care. 

2 – Laundry

For people with mobility issues or memory loss, simple tasks such as doing the laundry can become difficult. 

Live in at home care for elderly people can help with tasks like this. A carer can take elder individual’s  laundry and dry cleaning to be done elsewhere, or help your loved one to do it themself at home. 

You needn’t lose your independence – your carer will support you rather than doing it for you if you wish. This is another benefit to consider when looking for care and choosing the live in care provider that’s right for you.

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 care provider can cook with you or for you, ensuring you eat properly each day and don’t rely on unhealthy or non-nutritious fast foods. Having support in the kitchen and when it comes to buying groceries can help you or your loved one and take stress out of the situation.

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 and means you won’t need to rely on loved ones for these aspects of your needs.

5 – Food Shopping

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

6 – Transport

Most live in care givers are required to have their own transport and a full driving licence, so they can take you where you need to go when you leave home. 

7 – Companionship

Elderly people are especially vulnerable to loneliness. A live in carer provides companionship. 

They are a person to talk to, someone to accompany you on days out, and it is reassuring knowing that someone is there to provide round the clock care if you need them. 

8 – Cleaning

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

As you can see, a live in care package can be very cost effective. The cost of live in care includes support for a wide range of needs, from companionship, to chores, to errands.

3 Options On How To Find a Live In Carer For The Elderly

There are 3 ways that we can help you find live in carers for the elderly. You can:

1 – Speak to a Robot and he can tell you who the best provider is for you

2 – Book an appointment with a Live in Care specialist 

3 – Speak to a Live in Care specialist

Option 1 – Speak to a Robot and it can recommend a provider to you

Answer a few questions and the robot will tell you who would be a suitable match for your circumstances.

It only takes about 2 minutes!

It’s worth a go as you never know…

Option 2 – Book an appointment with a Live in Care specialist

Alternatively, if you’re looking for care at home you can book a call with a Live in Care specialist.

During the phone call you will learn more about what live in care is and what type of support is typically provided. 

You will also have a change to ask any further questions you have about the costs of in home care per week, as well as find out if you might be eligible for any local authority funding.

In addition, once you have told us your circumstances we will be able to identify which carer we think could be a good match for you or a family member.

This is a no-obligation discussion and is designed to help set you on the right path.

Just pick a free slot from the calendar below and call us to discuss your live in care options and the cost of live in care for your circumstances. 

Option 3 – Speak to a Live in Care specialist straight away

Speak to a live in care specialist straight away to discuss the costs of live in care and importantly whether you are entitled to receive any funding from your local authority towards meeting the costs. 

It is surprising to us how many people don’t fully find out what financial help they could receive from their local authority towards the cost of live in care. So, we do strongly recommend you call this number to find out may be entitled to.

Call us now

Please call us, in conjunction with Edyn Care, on 020 3900 3850 and speak to someone between 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday. 

When you call us we’ll explain everything you and your loved one need to know about the cost of live in care per week. We’ll help you work out whether this might be a better option for your needs than a residential care home.

Leave us your contact details

Leave your details here and Edyn Care will contact you.

24 hour care at home

5. The benefits of a live in carer

When looking for care and asking ‘What does a live in carer do?’ it’s also worth thinking about the benefits of what they do. There is a lot of value included in the cost of live in care per week, as a live in carer will support the person in many areas of their everyday life.

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 a live in home care service 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 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! Having this companionship can provide a much needed boost to your loved one.

2 – Safety and security

Having a person in the house 24/7 can be a great source of comfort for the person receiving care as they will feel safe and know their needs are being met. It also provides peace of mind for their family.

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

The live in care costs are well worth the amount of money you pay per week in this respect.

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 your loved one 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 with the support of your carer 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 nursing care in the UK report an 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 the quality of life for animal lovers. Live in care costs per week are well worth it when you consider the increase to your loved one’s quality of life and how much does a live in carer do.

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 carer can take you to your appointments, ensuring better health and wellbeing overall.

live in carers

6. The disadvantages of live in care

Despite its many positive points live in care does have several important disadvantages that need to be considered carefully before making a decision.

It isn’t right for everybody – so it’s very important to look at live in care in a realistic and holistic manner.

1/ Cost of home modifications

If you plan on staying at home for an extended period of time will it still be suitable in years to come? For those living in a large or older property it’s important to think about whether modifications may need to be made.

These kinds of changes can be costly and disruptive. Many older people experience mobility issues later in life – so curved stairlifts, specialist showers and ramps may be required now or in the future.

It’s worth bearing in mind that small properties or homes in need of renovation may need changes to be made in order to access live in care in the first place.

You’ll need room for your live in carer to spend time in when they aren’t with you – a bedroom and where possible a private bathroom. You may even decide to move home before accessing live in care to combat these issues.

2/ Fewer funding options

Live in care is mostly funded through savings or selling valuable assets to build a pot of money that can be drawn from over time. It is cost-effective for couples – but it is also expensive. Live in care generally costs between £500 and £1200 per week.

As you are staying in your own home it’s harder to use your property to fund care. If you don’t have sufficient savings built up it will be hard for you to pay for live in care.

Equity release is an option for those who are mortgage-free and own their own home – but this will need to be paid back upon your death. You should also make sure that the amount released is sufficient to cover your care in the long term.

3/ Lack of funding support

Live in care isn’t supported by as many funding options as residential care. It is classed as private care, so you will be expected to pay for most or all of it yourself.

Personal budgets or direct payments may be provided depending on eligibility. With or without this, you’ll need to have sufficient funds to pay for live in care in the long-term.

You can of course use benefits, welfare payments and pensions towards the cost of care. As a couple you can combine funds, which may make it easier to pay.   

5/ Reduced inheritance  

Using a finite fund such as savings to pay for your care naturally reduces the amount you’ll have to pass on as inheritance. You may need to sell valuable items you were saving for specific family members.

If you choose to pay for live in care by releasing equity in your home you also won’t be able to leave your property to your loved ones. This can be a big concern for many – but it’s important to prioritise your needs now rather than worrying about what you will leave for your relatives.

6/ Space and privacy

Your live in carer will require a sufficient private space of their own to spend time in by themselves and have breaks away from the role. You might not want to make space or simply can’t if you have a smaller property.

You should also consider how comfortable you are with sharing your space with a stranger. Cohabitation can be difficult, especially when you don’t know the person or have lived by yourself for some time.

Where can I find more information to help me make a decision?

You can find more information here on the __ website. If you require hands-on support and personalised advice speak with your healthcare professional or social worker. Charities such as Age UK can also provide face to face guidance.

live in carer cost uk

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 service 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 agencies to you to look at in more detail.

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 the cost of live in care or care home fees 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 live in care costs.

Due to how much does a live in carer cost, many people are increasingly using equity release to fund their live in care. You unlock tax-free money tied up in the value of your home and can spend it how you like: whether its paying the cost of live in care, or making home adaptations to improve your comfort. 

In particular, you could use the money to help make your home more accessible with a stairlift company. This support would help you modify your home and make moving between upstairs and downstairs easier. 

Equity release works by borrowing a lump sum, tax-free against the value of your home.  The loan is then usually only repayable on death or if you move into a long-term residential care home. Releasing equity can be a big decision so you should always discuss the impact of it with your family as well as an independent financial adviser.

The most popular types of equity release schemes are:

If you are interested in exploring this option to pay your live in carer cost please leave your details on one of our equity release pages. We’ll get in touch to discuss how you can pay your care costs with equity release products.

If you would like to learn more about this, you can also watch the 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 given your care needs and financial position.

You can also see how much money you could get by using this equity release calculator.

You can click the calculator below to get an instant idea as to how much money you can get tax free from the value of your home.  Give it a go as it can often be more than you think and may make paying the per week live in carer cost more feasible.

Use our free equity release calculator – see how much money you could release to pay for Live in Care

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.

You will be able to choose how you spend the money. It can be put towards paying the live in care cost, used to improve your home environment, to go on a lavish holiday, or to help out a younger loved one who is financially struggling and needs some extra cash to get by.

We recommend that you try out the calculator as it often surprises people as to how much cash they can receive.

10. How to choose between living in care agencies

In essence, there are three options you have when it comes to choosing a live in carer.  The per week care live in cost may range between providers.

The care agencies to choose between are:

  1. Source a living in caregiver independently
  2. Use a live in care agency
  3. Use a specialist living in care services 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 from friends.

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 for your health issues needs who charges within the per week budget you set out for your live in care cost. 

Once you find someone right for your needs, you’ll need to interview them and ensure that they have been properly vetted. It is very important to approve them and check their background before they start working for the care recipient.

When you source a live in carer independently, you’ll also be responsible for paying their wages and arranging shifts and rotas.

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.

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, 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 agencies only offer nursing care services support, some provide companionship; others have specific experience with dementia. This experience of different health conditions, as well as the total live in care cost for your care plan, 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 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. 

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.

24 hour live-in care cost uk

11. Using a 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 services 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 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

These kind of care services are 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 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 care givers 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 caregiver 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.

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.

Meet The Team

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

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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

Are you looking for help with Live In Care or have some questions? Have a free chat with us.

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020 3900 3850

Call us, in conjunction with Edyn Care, 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

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