You’ve reached us outside of our opening hours. Create your account to get access to My Elder, our online portal for arranging care and accessing information to support your journey to care.

How Can I Pay for Home Help?

If your elderly loved one is struggling to cope with the day-to-day tasks of life, then you may be considering assistance in the home to help him or her. Many older people struggle at some point in their lives, whether this is a short-term problem, due to ill-health or following an operation, for example, or more of a long-term requirement.

One of the most frequent questions asked when care at home is needed, is “how much will it cost?” which is answered below.

What is home care?

Home care is the blanket term given to any type of assistance that enables an elderly person to remain in their own home, rather than move into residential care.

Services provided under this umbrella term include day care and associated transport, meal deliveries to the home, health support, panic alarms, care worker visits, handyman and gardening services, and modifications that make the home safer or more practical, such as handrails.

How do I access home care services?

If you feel that your elderly loved one is struggling to cope at home, the first step is to arrange a visit from your local authority. They can arrange for someone to visit your loved one’s home to carry out a detailed assessment, during which they will look at your loved one’s health, their needs, and the type of modifications required to allow them to remain safely in their own home.

Your local authority will then devise a care plan, based on the information they gained on their visit. They will make recommendations and provide details of any grants or finance available to assist with home modifications and home helpers.

Depending on where you live, your local authority may offer to pay for some or all of your loved one’s care package, or they may not contribute anything at all. You should always proceed with a local authority assessment, even if you believe that your loved one’s assets are well above the threshold for local authority assistance.

Circumstances can change quickly when care costs start to mount up, so it’s important to have a firm care plan in place to cope with any changes that occur. An initial assessment early on may help to avoid delays once financial assistance becomes available, so make sure that your loved one is on the local authority radar.

Means test

The local authority takes a close look at your loved one’s financial circumstances in order to ascertain whether or not financial assistance is available. They will want to know what income your loved one receives, including any pension payments, earnings or other benefits. They will also take into account any savings that your loved one has, including investments. Your loved one’s property value may also be taken into account unless they have a partner or other family living at the same address.

Bear in mind that the law is subject to constant changes, and different area authorities have different criteria for assessments. It is also important to note that your loved one cannot evade their financial responsibilities by giving gifts of money or property to friends or family in an attempt to gain financial advantage. If your local authority believes that this is the case, it can include the donated property or funds as part of your loved one’s estate, even if it has been given away.

Dulcie’s Care Story

In this short video, Mary and Colin explain how Dulcie’s live-in Elder carer, Sarah, has become part of the family.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Dulcie to stay independent in her own home, while making a new friend at the same time.

Living with Live in Care: Dulcie's Story

What type of care can I access?

Your local authority may have allocated funds to your loved one to put towards the cost of care at home, but it’s important to note that you don’t have to spend this money on local authority care. Stories appear frequently in the press about home help who are unable to spend more than quarter of an hour with each client due to time constraints, so you may prefer to spend the money on private care at home packages, instead.

You can arrange whatever type of elderly care you wish, whether that is simply companion care or more complex dementia care. Bear in mind that the nature of old age means their care needs are likely to increase over time, so it’s helpful to arrange for care that can increase over time, in line with your loved one’s requirements.

Private live-in care is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to the residential care home model, which many older people prefer to avoid altogether. Given a choice, most older people would prefer to remain within the familiarity and security of their own homes, surrounded by their possessions and close to their communities.

A live-in carer can help to facilitate life in the family home, providing assistance whenever it is needed, as well as providing security and a friendly presence in the house, day and night, on hand to help with any emergencies that might arise.

Call us for expert live-in care advice

You should contact your local authority before hiring home help, who will carry out an assessment to establish if you’re entitled to any grants.

Is Postoperative Home Help Necessary?

If your loved one is due to come out of hospital following surgery, arranging appropriate home help can allow them to be discharged sooner and to start recovery in their own home.

Read more

Five Reasons a Loved One Might Need Home Help

If you are considering elderly care options for your loved one, then help at home from a dedicated live-in carer is often the most favoured option.

Read more

How Do I Choose the Right Home Help?

If you have an ageing parent or relative who is no longer as able they once were, it’s important to understand the different types of help available before deciding on the type that they need.

Read more

What Are the Benefits of Home Help?

Help around the house and with personal tasks means that your elderly relative can continue to manage the day-to-day activities within their grasp, while receiving assistance with those things they are no longer able to do.

Read more