Live-in care is a fantastic alternative to residential care where your loved one is able to remain in the comfort of their own home, whilst receiving professional care provided by a live-in carer.
Despite a common misconception that live-in care is much more expensive compared to moving in to a residential care home, in many instances it is an affordable alternative and can even be less expensive when a couple is being cared for at home.
Most people want to stay in their own home as long as they physically can as they grow older. They have worked hard to create an environment they love, to fill it with items that have fond memories, and to get to know the area that is so familiar to them now. Maintaining some measure of independence by remaining in their own home can help a person to maintain better physical and mental health in their later years.
The Cost Of Live-in Care
An extremely rough estimate of the cost of live-in care is a starting price of around £1,000 per week, at minimum. This price can vary hugely depending on the amount of services you require and the area in which you live. For example: a person requiring basic personal assistance and help around the home will cost less than a person with specialist dementia needs, or someone who also wants help with gardening or looking after pets.
You also need to be aware of whether the company is providing a managed ‘regulated’ service or just an introductory service as this impacts on price (the latter being less). Make sure you understand the difference when making your decision. Because live-in care is always tailored to specific needs the costs can be very different.
However, what our recent Better At Home 2019 report shows is that the average price for 24/7 live-in care is £1,080 a week.
When that’s compared with nursing homes across the country 33% of them charge £1,000 or more a week. In the South East 64% of nursing homes cost £1,000 a week or more.
Clearly there is great regional disparity in nursing and care home with London and the South East being much more expensive than in other parts of the country. Live-in care fees, on the other hand, are very similar throughout the country.
Another factor to take into consideration is extras charged by nursing and care homes, such as taking clients to doctor and hospital appointments. With live-in care those sorts of “extras” are already included in the cost.
Care Costs For Couples
Often, live-in care can be much more cost effective for couples compared to two people going into a residential home. Whereas each place in a residential home will cost the same, live-in care for a couple means that often the cost of care is split between two as you still only require one carer to look after two people and most live in care providers charge a very small supplement and don’t double the fee. It does depend on the level of care and services needed of course, but it can be a really great solution for couples who both require some level of care.
How To Work Out The Cost Of Care
The first step to estimating the cost of care is to look at different options and the cost. Most care companies will undertake an assessment of need without obligation. This helps you understand the level of care needed. You should also have a good idea of the financial factors. Understanding how much money there is for care will help you to then get an idea of financial support you may be entitled to. The Live-in Care Hub found that a high percentage of people do not speak to an IFA (Independent Financial Advisor) in relation to care costs. This lack of preparation can be detrimental to care, especially when there is a change in medical circumstance that happens quickly, without any preparation time. Make sure you talk to financial advisors who are qualified to advise on later life. See our care funding guide for more information.
Take The Time To Plan For Care
The sooner you can start planning for care the better. Gather information from every resource and don’t be afraid to reach out to the charities and services available to you. Later life can be fulfilling with the right support and care in place and lining up the finances to pay for that support and care is a really good starting point for a complete care plan.