How much does it cost to have a home carer?

The amount you pay for care at home or home care will largely depend on the level of care you need, often where you live in the country and the type of provider you choose.

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Most care agencies and introductory agencies will charge an hourly rate for care at home and a fixed rate for overnight care or live-in care. Care agencies base their prices on a personalised care package based on an individual’s needs. The fees they charge you will depend on many factors but will be much higher than an introductory agency.

The exact differences in your care requirements can also affect the overall price if you choose a care agency. If your main need is for companionship care or help around the home, this may cost slightly less than help with personal care or mobility issues. Likewise, clients needing help with dementia or complex medical problems may face higher fees. Fees will also be affected by the times of day that you need support. For example, having a carer in your home during the night will cost a higher rate than visits during the day.

Care Agencies.

Care agencies are more expensive as they charge high commission rates and have additional administration charges and overhead costs.

Traditional agencies charge from £23 per hour for care during the week and more at weekends – that is over £17,000 if you have a carer for 15 hours per week. Typically, the carer earns c.£9.00 per hour, limiting the selection of carers they are able to offer. A care agency will manage the care so they decide who is coming, when and for how long. It may be more difficult to get the care visits at the times you want them and you may not always have the same carer on a regular basis.

Live-in care provided through a traditional care agency will be up to £1,500 per week but will vary according to the precise needs of the care recipient.

Introductory Agencies.

An introductory agency, such as TrustonTap, will help you find a suitable carer in your area for a small commission, which is included in the carer’s hourly rate. At TrustonTap commission rates are kept very low, so that 80% of what you pay goes to the self-employed carer. Most of our home carers earn 50% more than they would if they worked for a traditional care agency. Carers with introductory agencies tend to be more experienced as they are not new to care, allowing them to be much more selective. At TrustonTap our carers are trustworthy, compassionate, and reliable and we encourage them to develop a relationship with their clients.

All the necessary checks and references ensuring the carer has the experience, valid training certificates, and DBS checks are kept up to date.  The carers are self-employed and charge between £15-£20 per hour depending on experience. If you take the average of £17 per hour, it will cost approximately £13,300 per year if you have a carer for 10 hours a week.

As well as providing Hourly care, TrustonTap can also provide Overnight care which costs from £125 to £160 a night, or around-the-clock care live-in care which costs from £1,095 a week. You may also find it helpful to see our article ‘Where to Start? A short guide to care’

Care homes.

The average cost of a residential care home in the UK in 2018/19, was £34,320 a year although this does vary around the country.

LaingBuisson Market Report in 2019 estimated the cost of Residential Care for someone with Dementia in the South East as £41,236 a year.

If you want a more in-depth comparison of the benefits of care homes compared to home care, please see our article ‘Care homes versus home care – what is the difference?’ which should help you make an informed choice.

Are there any other extra costs with Home care?

Home care is often put in place at short notice, when someone has had a fall or unexpected illness. Even though you really want to find the right care at home it’s really important to have a clear understanding of the actual fees and charges, so you are not hit with large unexpected charges later. Once you have worked out the support you need and selected a company with a suitable carer, you may want to consider these key questions, before you decide what’s right for you:

  • Find out what’s included in the care. Be clear on what the costs cover. What happens if you need more care? Does it include personal care or just home help and companionship?
  • Check the hourly rate carefully. Fees may increase for early mornings, evenings, and weekends. While bank holidays could cost almost double the standard hourly rate in some cases.
  • What happens if you need to change your schedule? This could be moving visits to a different date or changing the duration of visits, will you be charged?
  • Find out if there are further charges for canceling or moving visits. Will you still have to pay if you are admitted to the hospital?
  • Are there additional travel costs?
  • Is there an extra cost for a vaccinated carer?
  • Do you know how much the actual carers are earning?
  • What notice period do you have to give?
Financial Support.

Although many families pay for care privately there may be the opportunity for you to access home care funding from either your Local Authority or NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. In this case, you can request the care to be funded via Direct Payments or a Personal Health budget. This gives you control over how you spend the money allocated for your care and you will be able to access a much wider choice of care.

You may find it helpful to look at our articles on ‘What financial help can I get for my Care and Support? and ‘Paying for your own care’. You may find using the Paying for Care website helpful (see below)

Local Authority support for care of the elderly varies according to where you live but often, even if they provide you with support, they will be unable to provide the level of care that you may want for your relative or friend. For most people, there is a need to pay for at least some additional care support to provide the quality of life that you want for your loved one.