The reality is that finding high-quality, reliable care can be challenging and expensive. In this article, we guide you through the options for care and take a look at the true cost of care.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just exploring your options or have been considering them for some time, you’re in the right place. To better understand the costs involved, we walk through the different types of care available and give you a deeper understanding of the actual cost of care.
Home care also called home help or home support is where your loved one receives care in their own home enabling them to remain at home where they are familiar and comfortable. There are many different types of senior in-home care. Whether you’re looking for yourself or have a loved one who needs care, there are various specialised care options, including hourly care, overnight care, Personal care, end-of-life care, and live-in care.
In-home care can usually be broken down into:
- Being a caregiver yourself
- Domiciliary care
- Full-time live-in care
Usually, in-home caregivers provide elderly clients with non-medical support and assistance, including:
- General health and hygiene
- Taking care of laundry and clothes
- Preparation of food
- Travel and transport
- Rehabilitation and therapy
The cost of in-home care can be as low as £15 per hour or as high as £30 per hour depending on the home care provider.
Being a caregiver yourself
Taking care of a loved one yourself puts you in charge of their personal care. It can be done in two different ways. Providing part-time care at your home is one option while living with them and taking care of them can also be another option. You can provide as much help as necessary when you visit someone in their own home. At the same time, the care recipient can maintain the existing support systems they currently have. Neither you nor your loved one needs to drastically change their day-to-day life.
It may not always be possible to provide sufficient care by visiting occasionally, and distance can make it difficult if you don’t live nearby. You may consider moving them into your home in this case, so that you’re there to help, whether medically, physically, or emotionally.
It isn’t easy to estimate how much this will cost because it depends so heavily on the level of care involved. To get started, we recommend creating a home care plan as soon as possible. There are several specialist items that you may need to budget for – like getting showers with easy accessibility (£200 and up, plus labour), handrails (£50-150 each), stairlifts (£1000 and up), among others. You might also need ramps that can be purchased for around £40 to improve the overall accessibility of your property.
In addition, there are all the little expenses – like bills, petrol, shopping, and so on – that can accumulate quickly.
Domiciliary care, visits throughout the day
Domiciliary care is an option that helps people remain at home longer when they need a little extra help but may not require full-time assistance. Caregivers can assist with anything from personal care and errands, to toileting, hygiene and moving safely around the home. Domiciliary care is best suited for those with less acute conditions, such as respite care or early-stage dementia care, where part-time support is required, or where family members provide some degree of support alongside the domiciliary care provider. Domiciliary care can vary significantly in cost depending on the location, care requirements, and the number of visits per day. A care needs assessment and a discussion with a care provider will help provide an accurate breakdown.
An hourly fee is usually charged for professional care at home. You can expect to pay from £15 to £35 during the day and between £125 – £165 for night-time care. depending on whether it is a ‘waking’ or sleeping night. This is determined by how much the carer needs to be up in the night to support your loved one. At TrustonTap our average price is £18/hour. The amount of care required depends on each persons individual needs. If a carer was employed for 10 hours a week that would cost £9,360 a year. Holidays and weekends may result in higher prices.
A family’s home may need to be modified to provide these services, which can be costly. Among the modifications that could be made would be moving beds downstairs, installing a stairlift, or installing an alarm system. Grants may be available to those who need to modify their homes, depending on your location.
It is possible for your local authority to cover some or all of the costs associated with home care, but in some cases, you may have to pay for this yourself.
Full-time live-in care
With full-time live-in care, a caregiver provides round-the-clock assistance support to the person receiving care in their home.
Whether it’s for live-in companionship or more complex care for those with advanced care needs, many live-in carers are experienced with a range of conditions such as Physical and Mental Disability, Dementia, Parkinson’s, MS or Palliative Care.
Live-in carers usually move into a spare room within the home, so keep in mind that you will also have to come to any arrangements on the cost of food and the overall household budget. We typically recommend that you put aside £30- £40 a week for the meals of your caregiver, live-in care usually offers more value for your money, with dedicated support in familiar surroundings.
The cost of full-time live-in care varies according to the type of care required, with some experts predicting that the figure could be as high as £150,000 per year from some providers.
However at TrustonTap the standard rate of £1225 per week, for dedicated one to one care from a single trusted caregiver. This figure covers the cost of all types of 24/7 care at home, whether simple companion care or more complex dementia care.
Nursing care in a retirement home
Care in a Long-Term Retirement Home or Assisted Living Facility
Retirement homes, also known as care homes or senior homes, are communities of elderly people centered around 24/7 supervised care. With a wide range of care home options available, you can expect to pay between £50,000 and £60,000 a year per resident. Those needing more specialised care – medical nursing for a specific condition like advanced dementia, for example – will likely have to pay more. A residential care home offering basic care and support with daily activities like washing and dressing will cost less than a nursing home that employs specially trained nursing staff to provide medical care for certain health conditions. Location does of course have a significant impact on the cost, with the southeast of England being the most expensive.
In the UK in 2018/19, the average cost of residential care was £34,320 a year, although costs vary depending on where you live. Whilst this cost may seem high, it’s important to consider that you don’t pay additional living expenses or bills and the cost includes all services provided – meals, physical care and so on.
Financial Support from the Government
The government has a variety of programs that can assist your family with the cost of care, and taking advantage of these programs can make life easier for you and your family. It can however be difficult to work through the options and get the support you need, and the process can take some time.
Your family may already have decided on the kind of care they need. Or maybe, you are still trying to decide on the type of care you need. In any event, investigating the funding options available is an important consideration. Here are some of the funding and financial support options that may be available:
- Funding from local authorities
- Payments made directly
- Continuing Healthcare provided by the NHS
- Nursing care funded by the NHS
- Benefits to care recipients
- Caregiver benefits
What is the true cost of care?
The ultimate cost of care will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The type of care required
- How often care is required
- Whether it’s in-home or in a care home
- Your location
- The amount of support available from local organisations and authorities