A Home Care Supervisor Explains Care Costs To Elderly Lady. Both Are Looking At The Camera

Home Care Costs

By David Armstrong MBA - Owner, Day to Day Care Ltd

By comparing home care costs with alternative care options like residential and nursing homes, you can better understand their relative expenses and make an informed decision about the most suitable care option for your unique circumstances.

Understanding Home Care Costs

Home Care costs throughout the UK vary quite significantly by geographical location with higher rates in regions with a higher cost of living.  In their report “A Minimum Price for Homecare (April 2023 to March 2024), the Homecare Association have suggested that the minimum price for home care services in England should be £25.95 per hour. This covers the minimum pay rate for Home Care Workers (excluding any extra pay for working outside of regular hours), as well as their travel time, mileage, and other associated costs. Additionally, this rate includes the minimum amount required to run a quality care business at a sustainable financial level. 

The aim of the Homecare Association report is to provide local councils with information about the costs involved in providing high-quality home care services and the expected pricing levels. As local authorities typically buy most home care services through large, long-term contracts, the cost for people self-funding their own home care would be higher in comparison.

Another factor affecting home care costs is complexity. Care providers offer a range of services to meet the needs of the recipient preferring to stay at home, from basic care and support like companionship and light housekeeping to personal care, including assistance with dressing, bathing, and toileting. As the level of care complexity increases, so do the costs, as specially trained staff may be required.

Additionally, to cover travel expenses, care providers typically charge higher hourly rates for shorter visits. Visits can be offered in fifteen, thirty, or forty-five-minute increments for tasks that usually require less than an hour to complete. The length of the visit will depend on the number and complexity of the tasks that need to be carried out. This approach allows clients to avoid paying for longer visits than necessary, ultimately reducing the overall cost of the service.

Home Care Cost Calculator

There is no such thing as a typical home care package because everyone’s care needs are unique. However, you can use the following table to calculate a weekly cost customised to your own requirements and based on our current rates (January 2023).  The calculated cost is the weekly cost you can expect to pay for the visits you have selected.  There are no hidden costs and visits cancelled more than 24 hours in advance are not charged for. Things to bear in mind:

  • There is no VAT chargeable on domiciliary care in the UK so the price you see is the price you pay.
  • 15-minute visits are not suitable for providing personal care. These are only suitable for “check-in” or to “prompt medication”.
  • The calculated cost is for a single Home Care Worker per visit. If “Double Handed” care is required the cost will be double.
  • The cost calculator does not factor in the cost of Public and Bank Holidays which usually carry a premium.
  • Evening visits are those starting after 7 pm. These are charged at a slightly higher rate than visits before 7 pm.
  • If you are viewing on your phone or a similar device the calculator works better in landscape mode.
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DayMorningLunchtimeDomesticTeatimeEveningTotal

Comparing Alternative Care Options And Their Costs:

So, what are the alternatives to home care and how much they are likely to cost?

Live-in Care: Guide Price (South East England) £1,250 per week

Live-in home care is a personalised care solution where a professional carer resides with the individual in their home to offer dedicated, round-the-clock support. Prices for this type of care generally begin at approximately £750 per week but may exceed £1,250 per week based on the specific care requirements and desired quality of service. It is important to note that the carer will require the client to provide them with meals and a room of their own. While live-in care may be costlier than a residential care home, it is a worthwhile option to consider for those needing one-on-one or more intensive assistance. This option is also advantageous for couples receiving care (although an additional fee may apply), or for individuals who prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home.

Residential Care Homes: Guide Price (South East England) £1,125 per week

These facilities provide 24-hour support, personal care, and accommodation. According to carehome.co.uk the average fee in the UK is around £704 per week (Updated April 2022) but these are national averages and include those rates available to local authorities. According to which.co.uk self-funders will typically pay around 30% more and, you will have to pay significantly more than this again (around 23% more) for a place in a residential home in the South East of England. A rough calculation suggests this amounts to around £1,125 per week (April 2022).   This figure only covers care and accommodation costs, not additional expenses like personal items and outings. Much like home care there are significant variations in cost depending on the geographical location of the home and the amenities on offer.

Nursing Homes: Guide Price (South East England) £1,550 per week

Nursing homes are for those needing round-the-clock medical care. This is not a service home care companies would typically provide so a comparison is neither here nor there. However, for information purposes, nursing homes offer personal care, skilled nursing services, and accommodation. Prices will vary significantly depending on the care level and location but, according to carehome.co.uk, the average fee is around 25% higher than that of a residential care home. 

Conclusion

As demonstrated, receiving care at home can be more affordable than in residential or nursing homes, particularly for those not requiring constant supervision. However, for individuals receiving 24-hour care, home care costs can quickly accumulate and may surpass those of residential care facilities. In summary, home care costs are influenced by various factors, including the level of care, location, and individual needs. By comparing these costs with alternative care options like residential and nursing homes, you can better understand their relative expenses and make an informed decision about the most suitable care option for your unique circumstances.

Article Last Reviewed: 31 March 2023

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