What’s the cost of care at home?
The United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) recommends that local authorities across the UK pay a minimum of £20.69 per hour for homecare services (April 2020-March 2021). This is the minimum rate that allows homecare agencies to comply with the National Living Wage and deliver financially sustainable services.
However, the UKHCA also strongly recommends that councils should pay a higher rate that allows for the non-statutory UK, Scottish and London Living Wages, which include careworkers’ travel time and higher costs of office-based staff.
These recommended rates are:
- London: £25.11 per hour
- Elsewhere in the UK: £21.99 per hour
If you’re paying for your care, you’re therefore likely to pay at least these recommended rates, and potentially higher. The amount you pay will be affected by the level of care you need, and it may also vary depending on where you live in the UK.
Homecare organisations have to be registered with the UK’s care regulators, who publish the findings from their quality inspections on their websites. You can use our care services directory to search for local domiciliary care providers, where we also give links to the inspection reports.
What’s the cost of care in England?
If you live in England, you can use our cost of care calculator to find out how much you are likely to pay a home care agency per hour. We also tell you if your local authority is likely to contribute to the cost of your care or if you’ll be a self-funder. In both cases, we explain what your next steps should be to maximise on financial support.
Live-in care: what does it cost?
Live-in homecare is becoming an increasingly popular choice for people needing full-time care.
There are two common models of live-in care and costs vary depending on which of these options you choose.
Introductory care services
This is where carers are self-employed and responsible for paying their own tax and NI contributions. They are matched according to need following a meeting with experienced care consultants working for introductory care agencies. The carers are then paid directly by their clients and/or their families.
Find out more about introductory care agencies.
Fully managed service
The company providing the care employs and trains its carers directly. It will oversee and organise all aspects of care arrangements, from initial expert client and risk assessment and client-carer matching, through to comprehensive care plans. These providers are inspected by the care regulators.
The service you choose to work with will affect the price charged per week. Unlike domiciliary care agencies there is little difference in the fee depending on where you live in the UK. The level of care that is required will significantly affect the cost of the service. However, as a general guideline, many providers charge between £800 and £1,250 per week.
Live-in care helps you to stay in your own home rather than move to a care home. Find out if it could be right for you.
We explain the options for paying for care at home, from local authority support to paying for it yourself.
If you are eligible, government funding for home care may be available. We explain the means test and other rules.