Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

What is the hourly cost of care at home?

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Private home care can make a huge difference in your life, especially if you require help getting around the house or carrying out your daily routines. It can help you live life as independently as you wish. There are many ways in which to find care and there are just as many types of care available for you. You might need a carer for one hour per week or several hours per week. Or you might have to go with a permanent carer which lives in. Private home care is very flexible, depending on your circumstances.

Many recruitment companies or agencies offer private home care, at different costs. You need to do a careful vetting before choosing the right option for you. Some companies may simply recruit people without a very extensive interview process, while some carry out multiple interviews and checks.

Private home care in general costs around £20 per hour, but it will vary depending on where you live and of course, where you choose to get your care services from. Sometimes your local council might be able to cover the cost of your care. That depends on your circumstances. The council may be able to pay for the cost of your private home care or you may have to pay for it yourself. If you get a needs assessment which recommends home care, you may get help with the cost of it from your local council. The cost you will contribute will depend on your income and personal savings, if you have them. You can get a financial assessment, which will work out whether you are able to cover the costs of your care or not. If they determine that you are eligible and they will cover your home care costs, then they will also offer you a care a support plan. This will establish what your needs are, how they will be met and your personal budget. This personal budget is an approximation of the cost of your care.

Statistics for the financial year 2014/15 show that the total number of people receiving private home care was 673,000, according to the UKHCA (United Kingdom Health Care Association). It was estimated that the cost of private home care was £3.3 billion.

If you’re looking into private home care and it has been determined that your costs will be partly or fully looked after by the council, you also have two options to choose from. You can either choose to receive your personal budget as a direct payment each month or not. This option offers you the control to choose the right carer for your home care needs. But you need to keep in mind that by doing this, you also receive the responsibilities of an employer. In the year of 2014/15 the UKHCA estimated that 144,000 people received direct payments to cover the costs of their private home care.

If you want the freedom to choose the right carer for you and be in control of the costs you can do one of two things:

  • Employ the services of a home care agency
  • Employ the services of a recruitment company
  • Employ your own carer

Private home care agencies typically arrange for trained carers to come to your home. But often they will not send the same carer to come attend to your home care needs. The cost of this type of care costs around £20 per hour, but this price may go up or down depending on the area you live in. The agency will provide a list of the costs, as well as a monthly bill outlining all the costs for in detail.

At Guardian Carers our hourly cost of care at home can go from £12 per hour to £15 per hour, depending on the complexity of the job. But you can be sure that at Guardian Carers we will find the most suitable carer for you. We carry out extensive face-to-face interviews, looking in-depth at a carer’s previous experience and we do thorough background checks. Our carers are very competent and come with experience in working in private homes.

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