At The Good Care Group, we know through our experience in helping many families to plan live-in care over the last 10 years that the cost of care is a significant consideration. Live-in care is fast becoming the preferred choice for those wishing to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home whilst receiving the care and support they need.
If you are considering a move into a care home, it is worth researching the cost so you can make an informed decision as to what is right for you and your family and plan for the longer term.
Here we provide guidance on the cost of nursing and residential care homes in the UK so that you and your family have the information you need to choose the most suitable option.
How much does a care home cost?
There are many factors that impact the cost of a care home, including where the care home is located, the quality of the environment and facilities available and the level of care you require.
According to a study by LaingBuisson, the typical cost for residential care in the UK falls between £27,000 and £39,000 annually, while nursing home fees can climb to £35,000 – £55,000 per year.
However, it is worth noting that this includes all types of care homes across the UK – those that are solely or partly funded by local authorities and those that are paid for privately by those needing care. The difference between local authority and private provision in terms of the cost can be in excess of 50% or more.
If you would like a high-quality, luxury private care home where they invest in both their environment and care teams, you can expect to pay in excess of £60,000 per year for a room and residential care. This can rise in excess of £80,000 or more per annum for nursing care or specialist care to support those living with conditions, like dementia, Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or for those who need stroke care, cancer care and palliative care.
Care home costs in England also vary in relation to their location. In the South, prices start from £1,200 a week and in the North, prices start from £700 a week. The average cost of care homes in Scotland graded 5 and 6 prices start from £700 a week.
The average cost of a care home in Wales is also different from England at £600 a week.
What is included in care home fees?
There are other factors you need to consider when looking at the overall cost.
Whilst many care homes will offer an inclusive price for accommodation and your care package, others will cost them separately. The price for the room will depend on the standard of the room in terms of comfort and facilities, as well as where it is located in the home or whether it has a private garden or balcony. A care package will be priced based on your care and support needs and whether you need nurse-led care or simply a mobility/frailty care package.
Most care homes will also charge extra for the following:
Trips out of the home
Newspapers and magazine
Events held in the home
Hospitality services for hosting family events/celebrations
Funding the cost of a care home in the UK
Local authority funding
Depending on your financial circumstances you may be entitled to social care funding from your local authority to meet the cost of care or part of the cost.
To find out if you are eligible for care funding you will need to approach your local authority, who will then conduct a care needs assessment to find out if you need a care home place. If your needs are assessed and they conclude you do need a care home place, they will conduct a means test which considers your financial circumstances – whether you own your property, the value of the property, your income and any savings you may have.
Eligibility for social care funding will be impacted by your capital (savings and property), as described below:
What you will need to pay
You must pay the full cost (known as being self-funding).
The local authority will fund part of your care, and you will be expected to pay the rest of the fees.
Less than £14,250
This will not be included in the means test and the local authority will cover the full cost of a care.
NHS continuing healthcare
Healthcare in the UK is free at the point of delivery. Therefore, if you have an identified healthcare need and are receiving care for this in your own home, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, which is arranged and funded by your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
If you feel you are entitled to this funding, you need to visit your GP who will complete an initial assessment and refer your case to the CCG for consideration. They will then ask you to complete full assessment with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals so they can understand the complexity of your needs.
Sadly, for many, specialist conditions like dementia are not in isolation considered a healthcare need so care for dementia is not necessarily funded by NHS Continuing Healthcare. It is always worth checking though, as funding can considerably contribute to the overall cost of a care home in the UK and in many cases will fund the total cost.
If you are successful in securing funding it is worth noting that funding is reviewed by the CCG annually, so if your needs decrease because you are receiving good quality care your funding may be at risk and you may have to start funding the total cost of your care.
Financing care in a care home
Many families are faced with having to finance the total cost of care themselves (referred to as self-funding care). For these families there are options to help with financing care in a home including a Care Fees Annuity, which is an insurance policy you purchase to cover the cost of your care, or by realising capital in your assets through an Equity Release scheme.
HOW DO I PAY FOR A CARE HOME?
The costs associated with a care home can be financed in different ways. If someone is eligible for funding support from their local council, they can use this funding against their care home fees. Prior to this commencing, their Local Authority would complete a needs assessment to ascertain the level of care they require.
If the needs test indicates that a care home setting would be suitable, they will then complete a means test. This takes into account their financial income and assets, and will determine whether they require financial assistance.
If they are able to partly or solely fund their care home placement, the fee will be taken directly from their assets, usually a bank account.
If the need for care is health based, the NHS may pay for the entire costs through the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme. This is subject to an assessment. If the full criteria is not met, but nursing care is required, the NHS may finance part of the nursing care aspect of the care plan.
What is the care home cost threshold?
What you will have to pay towards your care home costs is directly linked to the amount of assets you have. If you have a needs assessment carried out by your local authority, they will also assess how much capital and income you have that could be used towards your care home fees. Some capital and income, like disability benefit, is not taken into account during this assessment, but on the whole the local authority will look at all your income.
Here is a breakdown of what you will need to pay:
The amount the individual will have to pay towards the cost of residential care
£23,250 or over
Full fees must be paid. This is known as self-funding.
£14,250 to £23,250
You will be asked to contribute towards the cost of residential care from any income received, such as any pensions, etc. based on the means test undertaken by the local authority. On top of this you will have to pay an assumed ‘tariff’ based on the capital you have between £14,250 and £23,250. The rest of the costs will be paid by the local authority.
£14,250 or less
At less than £14,250 you will not be eligible to pay the assumed tariff based on the capital you own but will still be asked to pay a fee from your income as assessed by the means test. The rest of the costs will be paid by the local authority.
What is the Personal Expenses Allowance?
The Personal Expenses Allowance is the amount allocated to you by the local authority that is not used against your care home fees. This is used to pay for items like personal items, treats, newspapers, and toiletries. This amount is different for each country in the UK and can be seen below:
England £24.90 per week
Northern Ireland £26.33 per week
Scotland £27.75 per week
Wales £29.50 per week
Can you give your assets away?
You are not able to give your assets away to your loved ones in order to be able to claim Local Authority funding. If you do give your assets away, the Local Authority may still include these in the means assessment and view this as “self-deprivation of assets”.
To explore ways you can give assets to your loved ones, please speak to a qualified financial advisor, like SOLLA.
Do people with dementia have to pay care home fees?
People with dementia will typically have to pay some or all of their own dementia care home costs either by self-funding their own care or with help from their local authority. A person with dementia may also be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding which means the NHS will fully fund the cost of their care, including any dementia care home fees.
However, a dementia diagnosis does not automatically mean that someone is eligible for NHS Continuing Funding. Eligibility is determined by the complexity and severity of the individual’s ongoing health needs.
Although dementia often impacts a person’s overall health and well-being, people with dementia are sometimes assessed as having a social care need rather than a health need.
The Continuing Healthcare Checklist is the first step in the process towards determining eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. We have a helpful guide available on how you can access Continuing Healthcare funding by completing the CHC checklist.
LIVE-IN CARE COSTS VS. COST OF A CARE HOME
Live-in care costs are typically in line with a care home, and sometimes less. The price you will pay for care in a care home can vary significantly depending on the standards of care and the environment, as well as the location of the care home. Care homes are typically more expensive in the South East of England.
If nursing care or specialist care of conditions is needed, then the weekly fee can be considerably higher. When considering a care home, it is important to ask them what is included in the weekly fee as there are generally optional extras, such as trips or hairdressing all of which can add up over the course of a year.
With live-in care you have the added value of being able to keep your family home and the fee you pay for your care is purely for the quality support you receive and not the room and board of a residential home.
If you are a couple who require care, live-in care really is a cost-effective option. The cost of care in a care home in the UK is double the price of receiving high quality, live-in care at home, as couples will typically live in two separate rooms. With live-in care there is just a small supplement for couples to receive care in their own home.
Benefits of live-in care
When considering the cost of live-in care compared to the cost of a care home, it is worth looking at the compelling benefits of receiving live-in care in the comfort of your own home:
One-to-one care and support around the clock – one-to-one care simply cannot be achieved in any care home.
A uniquely developed, highly personalised plan of care designed to meet your care needs whilst addressing how you wish to live your life – none of the rigid timetables or set routines experienced in a care home.
Specialist and complex care at home provided by highly trained carers delivered in the comfort of your own home. Familiar surroundings and routines are paramount in helping those living with specialist conditions, like dementia or Parkinson’s.
No need to move out of your much-loved home, with all the upset and disruption that brings. The family home can then be kept in the family, instead of being sold to fund care home fees. Staying at home means you can keep control of your life, with all your treasured memories and possessions around you.
With live-in care you can keep your pet and the carer will support looking after it, and if you have a dog will be happy to walk it for you. Pets are generally not permitted in care homes.
Considerable and proven benefits to overall health and wellbeing, with much needed peace of mind and reassurance for family members.
Those who require live-in care for couples can stay together as a loving couple, whilst receiving individual care plans. Couples may be split up to be cared for in different areas of a care home.
WHY CHOOSE THE GOOD CARE GROUP?
We have been providing high quality, live-in care to families in England and Scotland for over 10 years. At the heart of our award-winning service is enabling people to live independently in their own home with an improved quality of life. Our approach to care at home means our clients can achieve improved health and well-being. For families they benefit from peace of mind and reassurance that their loved one is receiving the very best care and support.
A perfectly matched care team
A live-in care service usually involves two carers working a two-week rotation. They will be carefully matched working with you and your family. We make sure they are skilled and equipped to meet all your care and support needs. Our focus on matching means the care team chosen share common interests and backgrounds. We know this means life is enjoyable for everyone. Your care team really get to know you and your needs, which means you get consistency of care.
Expertly trained carers
All our professional carers are required to complete our leading training programme before they care for our clients. Our programme has been created with leading charities and clinical experts. It goes beyond mandatory requirements in the care sector. Carers are then equipped to provide high-quality care and support for those living with specialist conditions. Our carers never stop learning new skills to further enhance the care they provide.
Continuity of care
Unlike an agency we employ our carers. This means they are committed to us, as we are to them. Carers enjoy the security of being employed, which means they stay with us longer. Those who work for agencies move around more. For families this means that you get continuity and consistency of the same care team caring for your loved one. This means high-quality care can be achieved with improved outcomes and no disruption to your loved one’s life.
In-house clinical experts
We have a dedicated team of in-house clinical experts. This includes a specialist consultant nurse, who also provides Admiral Nurse services to those living with dementia. Our management team consists of nursing professionals. They guide our carers to provide safe and effective nurse-led care at home. We also have our own in-house Occupational Therapist (OT) who works closely with healthcare professionals and our care teams. Our OT provides guidance and advice that enables people to live well in their own home with any equipment they may need. These experts lead, monitor and support our care teams to deliver best practice nurse-led care at home.
Innovative care technology
Unlike any other live-in care provider, we have our own online care community. Families, healthcare professionals and carers can access up to date information about the care being provided. It enables more effective monitoring, which means issues can be responded to efficiently. For our families it provides a reassuring window into the care their loved one is receiving. Our carers also use the online community to share ideas and support each other. It provides a vital connection which is important when remote working. Carers will use the online community so their clients can enjoy time online. This includes video calls with family, so they feel connected. Clients can use it to shop online or browse the web.
Improving health outcomes
Every decision we make is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Our digital technology allows us to predict risk and shape the care we provide. We measure health outcomes.
We want to know we are improving the quality of our clients’ lives every year.
Our health and well-being aim to reduce:
Behaviours that may challenge
Antipsychotic drugs in dementia care
Falls in the home
Readmission to hospital
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
They aim to promote:
Excellent nutrition and hydration
Enjoyment in life
Highest service rating from care regulators in England and Scotland
Unlike introduction agencies we are fully regulated in England and Scotland. This means the care and support we provide is regularly inspected. We are the only dedicated live-in care provider in England to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We have achieved this rating in all five measures – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In Scotland, our service has been inspected by the Care Inspectorate (CI). It has achieved the highest rating of a 6 (Excellent) for quality of care and support and 5 (very good) for staffing, management and leadership. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed service
Families benefit from our fully managed service delivered by care experts. This means you do not need to worry about supervising and managing the carer looking after your loved one. Our professional carers are supervised by an experienced care manager and supported by clinical experts. We provide this support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your dedicated care manager will be on hand to support you, your loved one and our carer teams. We invest in our care management team to ensure they have enough time to give the support everyone needs. With our fully managed service, families do not have the burden of managing the care arrangement themselves. We know this means families can have peace of mind, whilst enjoying quality time with their loved one. They do not have to worry about the tasks of caring.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate throughout England and Scotland with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager local to you has only a small number of clients to support. This means they can provide higher levels of monitoring and support than other home care providers. It also means a highly personalised approach to care can be delivered.
“My mother had very complex needs so I took time to find the right provider. From the first call, to the care manager and the carers, I have been very impressed. They also all made me feel at ease and nothing was too much trouble.”
Talk to us about your care needs
Call our friendly and approachable team today to arrange an assessment of your care needs. This will give you a better understanding of the cost of live-in care.