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Home Care: What Are the Costs?

The costs of home care to an individual can vary widely and are dependent on many different factors.

These include:

  • The type of care needed
  • How many hours a week you need a caregiver to be present
  • Your financial situation
  • Where in the UK you live
  • Whether you are eligible for any assistance with your care fees

The costs of home care to an individual can vary widely and are dependent on many different factors.

These include the type of care needed, how many hours a week you need a caregiver to be present, your financial situation, where in the UK you live and whether you are eligible for any assistance with your care fees.

Fully Funded NHS Continuing Care

Some people are assessed on their needs for continuing health care and may be eligible for fully-funded NHS continuing care. This can be provided in a hospital, a care home or by care at home, and is not means-tested.

There are relatively complex eligibility guidelines that have been set out by the government but, in England and Wales, these are open to interpretation by the person’s local NHS trust.

The Dilnot Report

An independent report published on 4 July 2011 by the Dilnot Commission recommended that the total care fees paid by any individual in their lifetime should be capped at £35,000.

The report is solely based on care fees and does not include so-called ‘hotel costs’ which consist of food, heat, lighting etc. These are expected to cost an additional £7,000 to £10,000 each year.

At present, however, no upper limit has been imposed on the fees for residential care or in-home care, paid by an individual.

The Position Today

Individuals who require elderly care but do not qualify for fully funded NHS continuing care will be subject to means testing. The means test for both residential and in-home care looks at your income and any capital, such as any property or savings you have.

If your capital is under a certain amount - currently £23,250 in England and Wales - you should be eligible for local authority assistance with your care fees.

Residential care should leave you with no less than £24.90 a week after paying your care fees. This amount is known as your Personal Expenses Allowance.

It has to be taken into account that people who are remaining independent and living in their own property and receiving elderly care still have utilities such as gas, electricity and water to pay for, as well as food and all the other expenses associated with independent living.

Following a financial assessment, if you have capital assets or income levels that mean you will have to fund your own in-home care, you still have a ‘right to request’ that your assessed needs for care are met.

Even if you have to fund your own in-home care, the local authority still has a duty to arrange appropriate care but is entitled to charge an arrangement fee. You may prefer to arrange your own care or a family member may be able to support you in this.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Types of Care

The costs of care can vary a great deal. Care home dementia fees are frequently higher than those charged for basic elderly care, as a more intensive level of care is required from staff.

There is not usually the same distinction between fees for dementia care and straightforward elderly care through in-home care, although the people who provide care at home may need specific training in Alzheimer’s care or dementia care.

The hourly rate for in-home care can vary from one provider to another, but not usually by a great deal. It is always advisable to research potential care providers thoroughly and not to just opt for the least expensive.

With private care at home, it is more important to find a provider who can match your needs with an experienced and trained carer who you can trust.

The major factor in deciding how much care at home will cost is how many hours of care are needed each week.

Although 24/7 care may initially appear expensive, it can be comparable to residential care fees and gives your loved one the advantage of staying safely in a familiar environment, while receiving one-on-one care.

For some older couples, private live-in care can be much more cost effective than residential care and ensures that they can remain living together in their final years.

Having a live-in carer can also widen an older person’s social horizons and support them in their chosen social activities.

Live-in care can encompass more than just care. A carer will help with tasks such as cooking and cleaning, which can save the need of having to employ additional domestic help.

Employing someone that your loved one gets along with and knows well is the next best thing to being cared for by a close member of the family, and also helps to preserve family relationships.

Providing ongoing care to a loved one can be difficult and often result in friction between the parties, but this can be avoided if someone else takes primary responsibility for the care.

Call us for expert live-in care advice
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