Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Respite care rates and costs

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Before you decide upon the best type of care for yourself or a loved one, or perhaps for a couple, it's important to know all the facts. The types of care available vary in cost quite significantly, so let's take a look at what you need to know.

Care Home

A care home is a necessary decision for some elderly people. However, a care home can be costly, with costs running into the thousands every month, or even weekly, for some of the more expensive homes. Care homes provide round-the-clock care and include services such as laundry, cleaning and food as well as personal care. Not only is a care home an expensive choice that can obliterate an elderly person's savings, or have a dramatic impact on the household finances of their next-of-kin, it also means a complete loss of independence for the individual concerned.

Respite care rates and costs

Nursing Home

Like a care home, a nursing home provides round-the-clock care but with the addition of registered nursing staff. Private nursing homes are an incredibly expensive choice and should only be considered when absolutely necessary.

Live-in Care

Live-in care is a positive compromise that allows the care recipient to remain in their own home but receive round-the-clock 24/7 care. Live-in care can be tailored to the needs of the individual and can include cleaning, laundry or cooking or can simply cover personal care and companionship. In comparison with the cost of a care home, live-in care is far more affordable. Normally a rota of individuals will undertake the home care, covering an agreed schedule of sleep-ins and awake days.

Home Care and Respite Care

Home care, or respite care, is a completely flexible option that, again, allows the care recipient to live in their own home and enjoy a good level of independence. Unlike live-in care, home care is not 24/7 but is instead adapted entirely to the needs of the care recipient. Once again, it can include a range of day-to-day living support and personal care.

Home care is significantly less expensive than a care home place and costs less than 24/7 live-in care. Home care is billed by the hour so it's easier to keep a track of how much it is costing. Home care can come in the form of respite care, which alleviates family carers for perhaps a weekend, or a few days here and there.

Respite care rates and costs have the added bonus of being a cheaper option for couples, who would not receive the same savings at a care home where they would need to pay for two places. A couple needing support at home will almost invariably find that it is cheaper to receive live-in or home care, which offers people a better standard of living, greater independence and an improved quality of life.

Respite care rates and costs

It is important to undertake some research prior to making a final decision. That way, you will be sure that not only have you made the best decision based upon cost, but also the best decision based upon the needs of the care recipient.

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