How much does care cost

Care costs vary around the country, and they depend on the type of support needed. Care can cost more if it is specialised, involves more than one staff member at a time, or if there is a high demand for certain types of care in your area.

How much does care cost

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Care at home

Home care (or domiciliary care) costs vary from around £10 per hour to more than £30 per hour. Help with domestic chores may cost less than help with personal care such as washing and dressing. If you need two people at the same time, the cost may double.

A personal assistant (PA), who carries out a variety of support, might receive between £7 - £10 per hour, but check with HM Revenue & Customs whether you also have to pay insurance or tax if they are your employee. You will also be able to get advice on this from local user-led organisations or brokerage services.  Your social services department will have details of these.

Day care costs vary from around £25 per day or half day for an older person, to up to £300 per day for someone with a learning disability. Rates for cleaners start from around £10 an hour. You can order groceries from supermarkets and other shops and there also many specialist ready meals companies, charging from £3 per meal plus delivery costs. Meals on wheels cost on average around £5 per meal including delivery.

Top tips

  • Don't let the costs of care put you off getting some help if you need it
  • Think about all your needs, and then think about all your resources (not just money) and how to make the best use of these
  • Don't be afraid to negotiate over price, or to make clear what you expect to receive in return

Costs of Care and Nursing Homes

The cost of care and nursing homes varies hugely around the country. They tend to be highest for younger people with learning disabilities, averaging around £1,200 per week.

Some places, including private hospitals, charge much more. Older people's care costs tend to be among the lowest, ranging from £470 per week for a residential care home, to more than £900 per week for a place in a nursing home. 

If care is more specialised, you may get charged more. You may also be asked to pay more if you have a larger room, or if there are more facilities in the home or more luxurious surroundings. You may pay less if you share a room.

Negotiating care fees

If you are eligible for funding from your local council or for NHS Continuing Healthcare, you can ask the council or the Primary Care Trust to arrange care for you. If you are paying for yourself (or receive a direct payment from your council for care at home), you will be negotiating your own care and making a contract, whether with a care or nursing home, a care agency, or an individual.The contract covers all the details of your arrangement, including how much notice you would have to give if you wanted to stop receiving that care, whether you have to pay if you are away, whether you can take your pets with you, if you can smoke and when you can have visitors.

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