Care costs: assisted living vs home care

As the population of the UK increases, the demand for quality care options is only expected to rise. Understanding the costs involved in care is an important part of the care planning process that can ensure you have the information you need to plan the appropriate support for your loved ones.

This guide explores the costs of assisted living and home care services in the UK, comparing the two options to help individuals make informed decisions about long-term care.

Home care

Home care, also known as visiting care or live-in care depending on the service, is a personalised and flexible care option that allows people to receive tailored support and assistance in the comfort of their own homes. Care at home is when a professional carer comes to your home to provide you with the care, companionship and support you need to enjoy a better quality of life.

Services and support

Home care services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual. Some of the commonly offered services include:

  • Personal care: Discreet and sensitive support with personal care such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting.
  • Medication management: Carers can ensure that medications are managed and taken as prescribed.
  • Meal preparation: Assistance with meal planning and preparation, considering dietary restrictions and preferences.
  • Companionship: Carers are a great source of social interaction and companionship to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Mobility support: Help with walking, transferring, and moving around the home safely.
  • Housekeeping: Light housekeeping tasks, such as cleaning, laundry, and maintaining a tidy living space.

Factors influencing the cost of home care

  • Level of care needed: The complexity and intensity of care required by the individual significantly impact the cost. Those needing specialised medical attention or round-the-clock care may face higher expenses.
  • Hours of care: The number of hours per day or week that home care services are required will influence the overall cost.
  • Qualifications of caregivers: The expertise and qualifications of the caregivers, such as registered nurses, may affect the cost of home care services.

The average monthly costs for home care in the UK

The cost of home care in the UK varies depending on factors like location and the services provided. On average, home care services typically range from:

  • £15 to £30 per hour for visiting care
  • £800 – £1,800 per week for a live-in care service.

At The Good Care Group, our award-winning live-in care packages start from:

  • £1,295 per week for a single person
  • £1,595 per week for a couple

Assisted living

Assisted living is a specialised form of senior housing. Its goal is to provide a supportive and comfortable environment for older adults who require some assistance with daily activities, yet still wish to maintain their independence as much as possible.

There are different types of assisted living homes. Some are made up of self-contained units such as apartments in a larger building or bungalows in a small community. In other assisted living homes, residents have their own rooms but share communal spaces like a kitchen or living room.

Each of these homes is different in terms of the living spaces provided and the care offered, but you can usually expect there to be nurses and care staff on-site to provide private assistance to the residents.

This type of facility is designed to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes, whilst still offering a comprehensive range of services and amenities to cater to the unique needs of each resident.

Services and amenities

While every assisted living home is different, these are some of the most commonly offered amenities and services:

  • Personal care: Trained staff members are available to help residents with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and medication management.
  • Meals and dining: Assisted living facilities sometimes provide nutritious meals and dining services.
  • Housekeeping and laundry: Regular housekeeping and laundry services may be offered, easing the burden of household chores.
  • Social activities: Residents can engage in a variety of social and recreational activities to foster a sense of community and combat isolation.
  • 24/7 security and safety: Assisted living homes prioritise resident safety, offering round-the-clock security and emergency response systems.
  • Transportation: Many homes provide transportation services, ensuring residents can access medical appointments, shopping centres, and local events.

Factors influencing the cost of assisted living

  • Location: The location of an assisted living home significantly impacts the cost. Urban centres like London and areas with a higher cost of living tend to have more expensive facilities compared to rural or less affluent regions.
  • Level of care and services: The complexity and intensity of care required by each resident play a crucial role in determining the overall expenses.
  • Accommodation options: Assisted living homes often offer various accommodation choices, ranging from private apartments to shared rooms. The type of accommodation selected can influence the cost, with private spaces typically carrying a higher cost.

The average monthly costs for assisted living

The cost of assisted living can vary greatly between providers. You can usually expect to pay between £500 and £1,500 per week depending on the services and amenities offered. Although this fee usually includes the price of the accommodation, there may be additional expenses involved with assisted living, including home insurance, meals, medications and community activities.

When considering an assisted living home, it is important to carefully read over the contract so that you are aware of exactly what services are included within the weekly charge. The service charge of some assisted living homes does not include the actual rent or mortgage on the property, so this is something to take into careful consideration when evaluating assisted living fees.

Factors to consider when choosing

Deciding between assisted living and home care for yourself or a loved one is a significant and deeply personal choice. To ensure that the chosen care option aligns with your needs and preferences, consider these factors:


For people with low-level care needs, assisted living homes can offer a safe and secure environment whilst allowing older adults to continue to enjoy their independence. The downside is that to access this care, an individual must leave the comfort of their own home and move into an assisted living community. For some older people, it can be difficult to adjust to this new environment and the new set of rules they must adhere to. There may also be concerns over privacy if communal spaces are shared with other residents.

Level of care needed

With live-in care, a dedicated caregiver is present in the home 24/7, focusing solely on the individual’s needs and well-being. This intimate and individualised approach allows the caregiver to develop a deep understanding of the person’s preferences, routines, and unique requirements, leading to a more tailored care experience than assisted living can provide.

Personal preferences:

It’s important to take into account the individual’s personal preferences and desires. Some people have a strong desire to age in place and maintain familiarity with their home environment. Others might seek the social interaction and sense of community that assisted living homes can provide. Understanding these preferences can help you in making a decision that enhances the individual’s well-being and overall happiness.

Support system:

Evaluate the availability of family support and the presence of a strong community network. If family members are actively involved in providing care and support, home care can be a viable option, allowing the individual to receive assistance while staying close to loved ones. Conversely, if the support system is limited, assisted living might offer a more comprehensive solution, ensuring that professional care and social engagement are both readily accessible.

Arrange for a free assessment

The Good Care Group has provided award-winning, CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ live-in care for over 10 years. Our care is focused on keeping people safely and happily in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes, whilst improving their overall health and well-being.

If you are considering home care options for the first time, contact our friendly team today to arrange a free, no-obligation home assessment. One of our care managers will be happy to meet with your family to discuss our care packages and provide you with transparent pricing.

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Content authored by Jackie Cooper

Jackie is a qualified occupational therapist and is registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC). She provides support and advice for our clients with mobility and transfer needs, and has nearly 40 years’ experience in occupational therapy.

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