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How do home carers charge?

If your loved one needs care, care at home is one of the best ways for them to maintain their independence. This is the first step in understanding the costs for your loved one’s situation.

How do home carers charge?

If your loved one needs care, care at home is one of the best ways for them to maintain their independence. The first step in understanding the costs for your loved one’s situation is getting a care needs assessment from your local council. Once you understand what care support you’re entitled to, you can start calculating the costs.

What types of home care are available?

There are several signs that a loved one may need some extra help – this often starts when they struggle to stay on top of everyday tasks. They might be having trouble keeping themselves clean and fed or are finding that getting out and about is becoming increasingly difficult. The care needs assessment will help to work out the level of care they need to stay in their own home.

Visiting care could be daily or weekly depending on how much help a loved one needs day to day. Companion care can help when your loved one is feeling down or has lost interest in their social life and interests.

Live-in care can help a loved one get better after illness or support them to stay safe and comfortable at home. It’s also a good choice when they need extra help with medication or mobility and require around the clock support.

How much does care cost?

How much care costs for your loved one depends on a number of factors including income and savings. It can depend on location as elderly care tends to cost more if you live in the south rather than the north.

But it can also depend on what kind of care a loved one needs. Do they require specialised dementia care or simply someone to pop in and check that they’re coping okay?

On average, professional care can cost anywhere between £10 and £30 per hour depending on location and the level of care needed.

Dulcie’s story

Dulcie is one of our longest serving customers. In this short video, she talks through the reasons behind her, and her family’s decision to choose full-time home care rather than the care home.

How much will you contribute to care costs?

The local authority will look at your loved one’s income and savings. This is known as a means test. In the context of savings:

  • Below £14,250 then the local council will pay for care

  • Between £14,250 and £23,250, the council will cover some of the costs
  • Above £23,250 your loved one will be expected to fund their care themselves

If your loved one receives a disability pension or other benefits then that won’t be included in the means test.

Is financial help available?

According to Age UK, £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit for older people goes unclaimed every year. So there may be financial help available to pay for your loved one’s home care if you know where to look.

Local authority: funding from local councils is very limited and your loved one may not be a priority case unless they can’t manage without care or have been recently discharged from hospital. Priority is also given to older people living alone.

After the care needs assessment is completed, your loved one will receive a support plan which outlines what care they can expect and how often. This could be help with rehabilitation after an injury or making some adaptations to their home such as installing a chair lift or a walk in bath, getting it prepared for home care.

NHS Continuing Healthcare: if your loved one is happy to be assessed by their GP and a team of healthcare professionals, they can apply for financial help from the NHS. Decisions are based upon severe need and could result in your loved one receiving the full costs of their continuing care.

Direct payments: rather than the council deciding on your loved one’s care, they can choose to receive a direct payment that enables them to budget for the type of care they prefer. This gives your loved one greater choice, control and flexibility when it comes to arranging care that suits their needs. For most people who are using state funding, this is the form of support that’s needed to hire a self-employed care.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP): Disability Living Allowance has been phased out in favour of PIP. This payment goes towards covering disability and long-term health conditions for people aged under 65. The daily living and mobility components can be paid at a standard and enhanced rate and are not means tested. Instead, your loved one will go through an assessment to determine if they’re eligible and what support they’ll need.

Attendance Allowance: if your loved one is over 65 then they can claim attendance allowance. This will help with care costs and is not means tested. This payment will cover either day care or day and night care for people who need help with medical care, day to day activities and being mobile. Applications are made direct to the DWP and they’ll let you know if your loved one can claim attendance allowance.

Self-funding elderly care

If your loved one is self-funding because they have income and savings over £23,250, then support and advice is still available from the local council. Expect to pay an average of £15 an hour depending on the level of independence your loved one is happy with.

Once you’ve exhausted all the available financing options then your loved one may have to dig into their savings or cash in on some assets they’ve been keeping for a rainy day.

The Minimum Income Guarantee will make sure that your loved one has a weekly income of £189.00 if they receive a pension but the cost of care can mount up fast. That’s why care at home is the best solution, allowing your loved one to stay independent with affordable home-based care.

Equity release or an insurance policy called a long term care annuity can help to cover any shortfall when it comes to paying for a home carer. These financial solutions may help your loved one to fund their care while remaining safe and secure in their own home.

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