Can home care offer an affordable alternative to residential homes?

Rehab health care-ladies having tea

Nursing homes can be a huge hidden cost for many of us and millions of people in England underestimate nursing home costs, risking poor quality care and huge bills. Around 1 in 10 older people with care needs now faces care bills of more than £100,000. Here at Ashridge Home Care, we think it is hugely important that everyone is aware of these rising costs and the funding issues that it can cause, as these can affect both elderly individuals and their families.

The Cost of Care

With the cost of residential homes rising and a lack of funding options available, you may want to look for other care alternatives that can help with supporting your loved ones. Home care services can enable families to keep a greater control over not just the quality of care that they receive,  but the cost of these services as well. The current funding system means that in almost all cases, homeowners have to pay all of their fees if they go into a care home, because anyone with assets of more than £23,250 does not qualify for funding help. But for those staying in their own home, the value of the property is excluded from the means-testing process, so they can qualify for funding if their non-property assets are not above this threshold.

Our customers pay between £21 and £24 an hour, which includes the cost of the carer’s travel expenses. This is for basic care, which could include help with meals, dressing and other household tasks. Where live-in care is involved, charges tend to be lower – at around £1000-£1400 a week – reflecting the benefits the carer enjoys with this arrangement.

Carers working in residential homes are generally paid the minimum wage, whereas at-home carers are paid more, and the financial relationship between the carer and “client” – the person paying – can vary, depending on the firm involved and its model.

The Flexibility of Home Care

Here at Ashridge Home Care, we can tailor services around the individual, whether it’s live-in, hourly, or specialist care. Such flexibility can be very useful if care is needed at short notice: for example, if a family member is leaving hospital or when another arrangement has fallen through. Undoubtedly, the live-in option also provides families with greater control over the quality of care your loved ones receive.

The relationship and trust built with a live-in care provider can rarely be matched with any other type of service. This, combined with familiar surroundings, home-cooked food, and the fact that live-in care comes at a much better price compared to a single bed within a care home, means more people are turning to ‘live in care’ services than ever before.

Moreover, live-in care can also be particularly cost effective for couples that both need assistance with day-to-day tasks but want to remain in a familiar environment together. Rather than paying for two beds in a residential care home, couples can pay for just one carer, significantly reducing the cost of care and allowing them to live comfortably together in their own home.

Live-in Care Offers Companionship

Aside from value for money, there are other clear advantages to live-in care which your loved one can benefit from. A report from Age UK suggests that older people in large households and care homes are more likely to report loneliness. Live-in care can ensure that your loved one receives the one-on-one companionship and assistance necessary for their personal wellbeing.

By allowing individuals to stay in their own home, live-in care can also help individuals to maintain a level of familiarity and a sense of independence which a residential home may not be able to offer them.

To find out more about the live-in care services we offer, call 0333 250 2124, email, or use the contact form below to get in touch.

Here to help

Choosing live-in care is a huge decision and not something that you should take lightly. Some of these conversations can be tricky and it’s our job to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible. We are more than happy to visit you and your family at home to discuss your situation and consider the options available to you.
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