Live-in care prices can start at £850 per week, and hourly care can cost from £15 per hour. These prices can rise or fall depending on the level of care required, as well as factors like geographical location.
The price of home care: how much do private carers cost?
Growing older can be full of rewards: paying off the mortgage, watching the kids grow up, having grandchildren. It can also be a challenging time – as our bodies age, things that used to be easy become more difficult. Growing older with dignity, in the familiar, safe surroundings of one’s own home can ease the strain.
If you are, or your loved one is, medically able to stay at home, a private carer can offer a practical and sustainable middle ground between no care and a care home.Budgeting for and financing the costs of home care can be challenging, and one of the biggest concerns people have when considering a private carer, is how much home care costs.
The price of home care is a complex question, demanding a complex answer.
Advice differs depending on who you ask and it can be difficult to get an accurate idea of costs so you can determine if home care is financially viable for you.
The average cost of private care is £15/hour, but the price of home care depends on a huge range of variables.
Your best option, if you want to know how much private carers cost, is to consider the variables below and determine which care solution you need, and then contact individual providers for an accurate quote.
Type of care
The price of home care will depend on the type of care you need, which is dependent on individual needs. Identifying the reason you need home care can help you determine which type of care you need.
Loneliness can be a real affliction in old age, and many choose private carers for companionship.
As well as being a companion carers in this role often help with the weekly shop, cooking meals and attending appointments.
This is the lightest form of care and the main aspect is relationship-based rather than demanding a specific medical skill from the carer, so prices are lower.
A step up from companionship, personal care means providing care services to assist with physical needs such as dressing, bathing, using the toilet, eating, drinking and taking medication.
Depending on the carer, personal care can range from lighter nursing tasks like the above, to more involved tasks such as assistance with moving around the house.
Requiring additional skills and training, personal care is a more expensive type of home care.
The cost of live-in care can be significant and will certainly match the expense of a basic care home.For example the average cost of a live-in carer in London may be as much as £700-800 per week, although lighter duties and more time off may mean a rate as low as £550.
The cost of a live in carer should always be considered alongside the benefits, which include maintaining independence and companionship.
Carer experienceWhichever type of care you need, each carer will bring different skills, qualifications and experience to the table and how much private carers cost will depend largely on this. NVQ Levels 1, 2 and 3 are common qualifications you might expect a carer to have, or training such as medication prompting, hygiene or fire safety. Many carers come from a nursing background too, which will push the price of home care up.
Like any profession, you should expect to pay more for more experienced carers.
A handy tip is to always make sure you ask for references from previous clients. Carers know how important references are, so they will have them to hand, and it gives you a great indication of their capability and work ethic.
Length of visit
One of the biggest benefits of home care is that it’s a flexible model, allowing you to choose a care timetable that works best for you.While some elderly people might need a carer who pops in for a couple of hours twice a week, others might need someone to help them dress/undress in the mornings and evenings. Home care options range from the 30-minute visits to 24-hour live in arrangements, so what you pay will depend on how long you need a carer for.
Many carers charge more for evenings, weekends and bank holidays too, so make sure to ask prospective home care providers about any additional expenses.
Source of carer
Where you source a carer from has a big impact on the price you’ll pay for care.
AgencySome people still choose to find a carer through a care agency, but there are many pitfalls to this, especially in terms of price. Agencies have a bit of a bad reputation for delivering inexperienced carers at a high cost. You will often get limited, if any, choice when deciding which carer to work with, and given how important personality is in determining the right care provider, this can be a real issue.
The major downside to using a care agency is that you’re often paying a high commission on top of the price of care, so you could be spending significantly more for the same care than if you engaged the carer privately.
Bear in mind too that the European High Court has recently ruled that employees with no fixed office should be paid for travel time as well as actual working time, which will have a big impact on agency care costs.
Carers coming through a care agency have previously often travelled long distances unpaid, even for short visits, but this will now change, and agency carer prices will jump up as a result.
Find a carer yourselfFinding a carer yourself by advertising, can be an excellent alternative to using an agency. A direct hire means that you can choose the carer that is best for you, and avoid expensive commission fees. On the downside, it is time-consuming, and can be challenging, both in terms of locating a suitable carer, and in terms of finding sickness or holiday cover when needed.
Vetting prospective carers can also put people off. Given the emotional, physical and moral price of getting care wrong, many prefer to entrust the vetting process to experts.
hometouchAnother solution is to source a carer yourself, through a platform like ours. Hourly rates start at £10 p/h and are negotiated to include travel time upfront. We interview every carer before uploading their profile to the website, ensuring that each has the right qualifications, experience, and legal clearance. We created hometouch to provide an alternative to the options above, reshaping the care industry to deliver high-quality care at affordable prices. Our aim is to help people live happily, safely and with dignity at home as they grow older. Our care platform brings care professionals together with the people who need care – on a flexible, self-employed basis. You can make an informed choice of carer based on skills, experience, location, availability and hourly rate.
Unlike agencies, we charge a low commission, so you can choose a bespoke, flexible care option without paying through the nose for it.
At hometouch, we believe that the amount you pay should only depend on the type and duration of care you need, which is why we bring you together with vetted, local carers who match the criteria you’re looking for.