Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

How much do private carers cost?

Old age or illnesses can result in challenges which see you requiring support. If you or a loved one have a debilitating condition, you may need to decide whether to be treated in your home or move into a care home.

Care at home vs care home

Receiving care at home - whether 24/7 or less frequently - will enable you to continue living in the house you love. Here you will feel safe surrounded by personal effects and can maintain your dignity. A care home, in contrast, involves a big upheaval and is usually significantly more expensive.

Typical tasks

Private carers

Private carers from agencies such as Guardian Carers are typically able to help with:

  • ironing and laundry
  • meal preparation
  • tidying the house
  • walking pets
  • running errands
  • taking you to events
  • mobility help
  • bathing, dressing and grooming
  • oral care
  • administration such as bills
  • changing bed linen.

Once the agency understands what sort of cover you require, they will tailor-make a care package to suit your individual circumstances.

Carer qualifications affect cost

The cost of private carers will depend on their experience and qualifications, These may include NVQ Levels 1, 2 and 3 and medication training, as well as fire safety and hygiene. A carer who has a nursing background will be more expensive.

Different types of support have different costs.


You may choose a private carer to be a companion. Loneliness in old age can be a problem, and companionship may help to alleviate feelings of isolation. Since this arrangement is based around a relationship rather than medical matters, it is the lightest type of care and prices are lower.

Personal care

A rung above companionship, personal care focuses on physical needs and includes help with medication, dressing, using the bathroom and eating. Personal care can range from lighter nursing jobs to complex tasks such as help moving around the house. As it requires specific skills, personal care is a more expensive type of support.

Private carers

Live-in care

Live-in care may match the cost of a basic care home. However, someone with lighter duties and more time off may charge a lower rate. The expense should be viewed alongside the benefits of live-in care, such as staying independent and remaining in a much-loved and familiar environment.

Typical costs

So how much do private carers cost? Hourly care ranges from £15-30 per hour, with live-in care costing from £700-800 per week. These prices vary depending on the level of care required. As an example, if you are paying £18 per hour and you need 14 hours of support each week (2 hours daily) you will pay about £1,100 monthly or £13,200 annually.

Usually you pay on a monthly basis, with the agency providing a summary of hours worked. Costs in the North are generally less expensive than in the South. Financial planning to meet care costs is important. Consult an Independent Financial Adviser to discuss your individual requirements.

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