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How to pay for your homecare

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How do you pay for homecare?

Whether you need to move into a care home or need your care to move in with you, care is expensive. When you are looking at ways in which this burden could be eased, it's important to know what options are not only out there but what options are actually available to you. You could end up paying for all of it, some of it or nothing at all.

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. When a person’s primary requirement is assistance with their health, then the NHS is responsible for providing and funding their care. This could be at home, in a care home or in a hospice.

However, the assessment which determines your eligibility is extremely strict and it is not black and white as to which conditions and illnesses qualify you for funding. In saying that, this scheme could save you thousands of pounds every year so it is worth looking into.

If you miss out on NHS funded care, don’t fret, your council may be able to step in as a backup. Although their assessment requirements are not quite as strict as those of the NHS, the process still applies. It’s no secret that Councils only have a limited amount of funding available, your council will undertake their own assessment of your care needs and your assets and savings will be taken into account. This assessment will determine what care they believe you are entitled to and require and whether you need to contribute in any way.

If you aren’t able to rely on either the NHS or your local council, at this stage things may be looking like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Your care needs are severe enough for the NHS to step in, your assets have been valued too high for the council to step in and yet, you are still unable to afford the care you need - where does that leave you?

Downsizing or equity release.

Downsizing is considered to be selling your current home and moving into one that is smaller and may even be more suited to your current needs. You are able to move into a home that may have fewer stairs, fewer rooms to maintain, fewer tripping hazards and live off the extra cash you made in the sale.

Equity release is, in a nutshell, a way to unlock the value of your assets and turn it into a cash sum. While assessments are still involved in this process, you are guaranteed to walk away from this with some sort of financial support. With a lifetime mortgage, which is the most popular option, you will be able to borrow some of the property’s value at a capped or fixed interest rate and when you decide to sell the home, that money will be used to pay off the debt.

Historically, house values have steadily increased at a higher rate than the interest that is on most loans so while this may mean you will be leaving less of inheritance to your loved ones, using your money to ensure your life and well being is maintained in a way that means you are able to spend more quality time with them could be argued of having immeasurable value.

Equity release as an industry is steadily increasing, with lending on equity expected to double in the next 5 years. While there has been a negative reputation around equity release of having impossibly high-interest rates and seizing of home, due to the steady increase of competition the attitude of many firms has been forced to change.

Paying for care and support at home

When considering homecare and ways in which you are going to pay for it, it is important to first consider the support services that are available to you and which service matches your needs.

A Live-In home carer is when the domestic housekeeper carer lives with you in your home and offers around the clock care, 24/7. This is the most expensive type of in-home care as it is the most comprehensive. Your personal housekeeper carer will require their own bedroom within your home and it is recommended that they have at least 2 hours to themselves, the perfect time for you to do some reading or take a nap. Live-in care tends to be the step before going into care or residential home

A live-out home carer is similar to a live-in carer as the care recipient is able to stay in their home, however, your carer would not stay overnight. Your live-out home carer can be available full time or part-time and is adapted to the different levels of support that you require.

Respite home care is a temporary form of care whether it is to cover your current carer if they have time booked off, or if it is to help with post-operative care. If you have just had a big operation and need some assistance while you recover, respite care is perfect for you.

Part-Time carers can be available from a couple of hours a week, to a few hours a day. They can help you complete your day to day activities or there to exchange stories over a cup of tea. Part-time care is completely flexible to you and your schedule.

A housekeeper carer is a perfect hybrid between having a Housekeeper to care for your home and a carer to care for you. They will be able to manage your laundry and ironing, cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms as well as taking you to appointments, assisting with physiotherapy exercises and personal care.

Live out candidate tend to earn between £10 and £15 per hour, this can be either net or gross however the most common within the industry is gross. This means that the candidate’s tax and National Insurance contributions will be taken out of that.

Paying for live in care

On average, live-in carer pay rates are between £100 and £140 gross per day. This can vary depending on a variety of factor such as experience, the type of care required and if any specific additional languages are required. The salary range is provided as gross pay, this is because as a live-in carer, you may decide that you would prefer to be considered self-employed and therefore will be responsible for paying your tax and National Insurance contributions.

However, if a carer does not want to be responsible for their own tax and National Insurance contributions, then they can be considered employed by the client. This would mean that the client is responsible for paying the carers National Insurance and tax contribution, but the client would be paying a net salary which would most likely be less than that stated earlier.

If you are looking at live-in carer and you require more specialised care due to a disability or an illness that is progressively getting worse, the carer is able to request a higher salary. This is because typically they will be required to have more hands-on experience as a carer as well as experience with the issue that requires speciality care. Especially as a private live-in carer operating within the clients home, it is essential that they have the experience and expertise to properly care for you.

On average, a live-in carer working with a client with specialist care needs is able to ask for up to £160 gross per day, however, it is not unheard of for live-in carers to be paid more than that. Again it depends on the experience and qualifications of the carer as well as the type of care that is required.

The minimum wage of a live-in carer is inline with the National minimum wage or London minimum wage if you are based in London. Minimum wage is only applicable if you are aged between 21 and 25 years old, otherwise, you will qualify for the National living wage which is slightly higher than the minimum wage. Living and minimum wage typically increase each year, but as it stands the minimum wage for the UK is currently £7.70 per hour and the living wage for the UK is currently £8.21 per hour, in London, the living wage is again slightly higher at £10.55 per hour.

Knowing what type of care you require as well as the market rates for such care is essential when considering home care costs and calculations.

How do I start my home carer search?

Taking the first step and knowing where to start can be a little intimidating, which is why consulting an agency that specialises in homecare for the elderly is essential to ensuring your search is stressfree and seamless. With an agency, you have access to expert, experienced advice. Agencies also take the hassle of finding someone out of your hands and make the process a straight forward and enjoyable experience. With Guardian Carers, we interview and screen all our candidates and we are able to provide sample contracts and a payroll service once you have found your perfect carer for seniors.

Our years of experience within the industry has meant that our vetting procedure has been honed down to a fine art. When you use an agency like Guardian Carers you can rest assured that the carer you are being presented with has had a thorough background check, verbal references have been verified by our consultants and their experience compliments your requirements perfectly.

Our consultants believe that your care should start the very moment you contact us, and will not stop once you have found your carer. Our consultants are always on hand to assist at any point during your search and even after you have found the carer for you.

Helping hand from the very beginning

Carer agencies such as Guardian Carers take the hassle of resourcing potential carers from you and will only present you with the best of the best that we meet. We bring them into the office for a face to face interview where their experience and qualifications are discussed at length and we are able to obtain verbal references which we then personally check ourselves.

All of our carers will have the following:

  • First Aid and Safeguarding qualification
  • Enhanced DBS check
  • At least 3 years of experience
  • Any language requirements can be accommodated

From the very first call, your expert consultant will guide you through what your options are, what would suit your requirements most closely and put your mind to rest with any concerns you might have regarding your carer search. Our consultants are also on hand to help and answer any questions you might have along the way, using an agency that specialises in full-time home care like Guardian Carers means you have a direct line to the experts.

We work with your family to find solutions, whatever your needs. To make perfect and seamless placements is Guardian Carers ethos. With Guardian Carers it's your care, your home, your way.

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