Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

How Much Do Carers Cost

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The subject of carers can be emotive and there are lots of options to consider. Whether you’re considering care for a loved one, or even perhaps for yourself, there is much research to be done to understand all the options available and then to decide which best suit your situation. Cost will undoubtedly be a factor.

Carers cost

In-Home Care

These days, receiving care in your own home is a very real, and often preferable, option for many. Opting for a carer in your own home gives you the most flexibility; the carer visits regularly, depending on the nature of the care required, and sometimes even lives in. They help with the personal care required, administering medication in some cases, and support with general household duties including grocery shopping and meal preparation.

The strongest argument in favour of having a carer at home is that you are able to stay in your own home, with familiar surroundings, your own belongings, and your usual routine. That might mean a regular house call from a neighbour, or a visit to the local shop - routine can go a long way to supporting overall well-being. Above all, the person receiving the care is able to keep control over their lives and the support they receive, which is extremely important to many.

Conversely, for those who don’t have regular visitors, it can be very lonely between care visits, and should something go wrong, it might be a long time before help arrives.

Costs of care vary around the country but your local branch of social services will be able to guide you on the costs in your area and what is covered. Local charities will also be able to talk you through the support they offer.

If you decide to pursue looking at care in your own home, be prepared to look carefully for answers to the question of how much do carers cost. Plan ahead and think about the care you will need; how many visits per week, does that cover weekends, will you need support overnight, what duties will be involved?

Carers cost

Indicative Rates

Each question will have an impact on what the cost of home care will be. As a broad guideline, allow around £15 per hour for someone coming to your home for regular visits. That equates to roughly £11,000 per year assuming 2 hours per day, although rates may rise at the weekend.

If the care extends to full-time during the day, the figure is likely to be closer to £30,000 as a starting point, and that rises significantly for round the clock care.

When working out the cost of a carer in your own home, don’t forget to factor in the ongoing running and maintenance costs of your own home.

Ultimately, there is no one single answer to the question of how much do carers cost because there are so many variables. Work out what you would like, and also what you actually need.

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