What is the cost of live in care and how does this compare to the cost of a care home? And how much does the cost vary between different live in care agencies? These are the questions people naturally ask when considering the different care options available.
The cost of a care home varies depending on location, the services it can provide, the quality of the accommodation and other factors. According to Laing and Buisson, the most expensive area is the South East of England where the average cost of a care home is £700 a week and £980 if nursing is required. The least expensive area is the North West of England where the cost of a care home is £491 a week and £698 if nursing is required.
There are two main elements to the cost of live in care, one is the part that gets paid to the carer, the other is the part that gets paid to the agency.
With regards to what gets paid to the carer, there is a going rate of what live in carers are paid and what carers expect to be paid. This is usually upwards of £95 a day and can be more if the client requires a very high level of care. Most experienced carers feel for the amount of hours they work and the sacrifices they make to do live in care work they wouldn’t want to work for anything less. Some agencies pay their carers less than this but often they find that the carers leave when they know they get paid more for doing the same job with a different agency. These agencies usually have high numbers of inexperienced carers that are brought in from other countries, given training and start working, often very unfamiliar with British ways and British customs.
The other main part of the cost of live in care is that which is paid to the agency for which there is an enormous range of prices. The lowest is around £100 a week but some agencies charge over £500 a week and this is for the agency fees alone! Very often this cost is hidden as agencies won’t tell you how much goes to the agency and how much to the carer. Managed agencies tend to be more expensive and typically charge several hundred pounds a week for their service. Introduction agencies typically charge between £100 and £300 a week. (The difference between managed and introduction agencies will be explained in the next blog post). The cost of the agency fees was the main complaint we heard from clients which is why we decided to set up a service that charges a fair price but at the same time providing a better, more friendly service. Our service fee is £15 a day (£105 a week) allowing people make huge savings to their overall care bill.
There are also other costs that need to be taken into consideration such as the cost of the food for the carer and the carer’s transport.
Even when the cost of food and travel expenses are taken into account, this still works out as less than the average care home in the South East of England, not to mention if nursing is required.
So given that almost everyone would prefer to stay in their own home, it seems amazing to us that only 4% of the British public choose live in care over a care home.
To find out more about how Careleaf can help, please read our about live in care page.