How Much are Dementia Care Home Fees?


Care home fees for dementia care homes in the UK vary from around £1000 to more than £3000 per week. Care homes fees for dementia care in the UK have been increasing year on year by at least 5%. This is 0.5% higher than the average care home fee which has also increased by 5% per annum over a 3-year period so there seems to be a trend showing that care home fees are increasing at faster rate than general living costs.

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Another reason is due to the an ageing population and people newly diagnosed with dementia which means that there are not enough specialist care homes available at present. Additionally, staff shortages are driving up costs which is further contributing to dementia care home fees inflation.

The cost of dementia care homes varies across different regions, care homes and countries. This may be due to different government policies, rates of pay for staff and other related costs that are associated with running care homes which can affect a care home's finances.

Even though there is an increase in care home fees for care homes with dementia this does not necessarily mean that you will have to pay this amount every week or month as some care homes can offer respite care only.

Also remember that your relative might incur further charges depending on various care activities and sundry expenses such as hairdressing, and care home fees for dementia care might increase if care needs increase.

Care homes offer different kinds of care; some care homes are more like independent living facilities which means that they only provide basic care and limited support whereas other care homes provide a higher degree of care with specialist nursing staff and more activities.

One reason why your relative might be asked to leave a care home is because their care needs exceed what the care home can provide; in this case, you will have to pay for more expensive forms of residential or nursing home.

Fee categories:

  1. Care fee
  2. Accommodation
  3. Service charge (e.g cleaning, laundry etc.)
  4. Extra care charge (e.g. care provided after evening meal time)
  5. Council Tax
  6. Contributions to care home expenses

The care fee is the amount you have to pay to cover care costs. This includes care and support provided by carers, the care home itself and any additional services provided at the care home such as meals, entertainment etc; it does not include personal drugs or equipment purchased by a resident or their family for use in the care home. If your relative has dementia, some care homes will add an additional supplement of top of overall care fees which funds the care home's specialist dementia activities and staff training. It also covers additional dietary needs which may be necessary due to changes caused by dementia.

Dementia care homes are where people go to receive specialist care for those who have been diagnosed with dementia. As well as nursing care, dementia care homes also offer activities such as art and crafts sessions, gardening sessions, tea dances and bingo nights to keep residents active and engaged.

Dementia care homes are usually more expensive because they require at least 24-hour supervision and staff are often trained to manage challenging behaviour. Additionally, specialised medications may need to be prescribed by nursing staff and restrictions of liberty may be required such as locking of doors to prevent wandering.

Non-dementia care homes are care homes where care is non specialist. Dementia care homes are care homes which care for people with dementia exclusively. These care homes tend to have trained care home staff who are skilled in managing challenging behaviours.

There are several factors that contribute to the cost of care home fees for dementia patients and much research is ongoing into this subject. Factors include country/region where the care home is based in, type of care home, old or new care home, type of dementia (such as stage of condition and the various types such as Alzheimer's or Vascular) that the patient has and also severity of symptoms such as wandering behaviours and aggression.

In Scotland in 2017 the average weekly care fee for goverment funded care was around £438 compared to the North West Region which was at £400 per week on average, but this was not for dementia care specifically. There can be multiple reasons why prices may differ from care home to care home.

In 2017, care homes in Doncaster charged around £395 per week on average. Although care homes in Yorkshire had a weekly care fee of £451 per week on average. It is also important to note that care homes tend to offer lower care fees for those with dementia and who need higher levels of care.

Consequently, residents whose care needs are assessed as moderate or low will typically pay less than those whose care needs are assessed as high or very high. The reason why these care fees are different is because the types of services, support and costs required by people with different levels of dementia may be very different too and this means their needs vary considerably.

The biggest factor between prices from one region to another however is usually due to whether care homes can rely on public funds to cover their care home fees or not. This is because care home care fees are principally paid for by the NHS and Local authorities in many regions and additionally are being cross subsidised by self-funders who typically pay higher fees.

Since care homes are being paid less by Local Authorities, they increase care home fees accordingly for self-funders. Consequently, this also means care homes do not always have very much leeway when it comes to offering lower or discounted care home fees unless they want to take a loss themselves every week from running their business.

In addition to care home fees being higher in some parts of the UK, care home fees for dementia patients are also more expensive than care home care fees for non-dementia residents. This is mainly down to the level of care that care homes have to provide to dementia patients as well as the increased intensity and likelihood of conditions such as malnutrition, diarrhoea or pressure ulcers resulting from neglecting to provide elderly residents with enough help.

Your local Alzheimer's Society can provide you with information on how much care home care fees are in different regions of the UK by using their Care Costs Calculator.

Dr Jamie Wilson
Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch
Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.