Finance and Legal

With a cost comparable to residential care homes, live-in care could be more affordable than you think

While live-in care may cost less than you think, it’s still a big financial commitment and it will be important to plan how best to meet the cost of care.

Paying for Care
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When you add up all the benefits, 24/7 live-in care offers excellent value for money. To begin with, having a live-in care service is far more economical than having a domiciliary care team working eight-hour shifts, where not only is continuity compromised but costs become extremely prohibitive. Comparable to the cost of a good residential care home, live-in care is even more cost effective when care is required for couples or more than one person.

Most of the cost of residential care fees is made up of both accommodation and food rather than the actual care costs themselves. Live-in care by contrast is 100% one-on-one care ‘touch time’. It is important when considering the options open to you that you understand exactly how much of the fee you pay is for the care time itself.

Live-in fees will also depend on the level of care required. For instance, ‘companionship care’, with minimal personal care or condition management will cost much less than more complex care, which may include nurse-led services and clinical oversight. Fees will also depend on the kind of service you choose. If you want to be in control of the care and oversight, an introductory service may be appropriate and will cost you less than a fully managed service. Understanding the difference between these models of care will help you ensure you choose what is best for you.

Only pay for what you need

An introductory service usually pays for a carer, plus an agency management cost. For fully managed care services, fees tend to cover a fixed, all-inclusive weekly rate covering everything involved, including monitoring the care service, liaison with health professional, supervising and supporting the carers. Full management fees may also cover bank holiday work and sometimes travel expenses.  Basic fees for the introductory package don’t usually cover travel expenses.

Many fully managed services – and some introductory agencies – also offer 24/7 expert teams on call to support carers, along with specialist nursing support.

You also need to take into account your carers’ living costs. These can range from food, heating, lighting, plus any personal client costs (continence products, latex gloves, additional car insurance and so on). Our advice is to factor them into your everyday household outgoings and to work with the care provider on what is required when discussing the service at the outset.

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