How Much Does A Live-In Carer Cost?
This might surprise you, but live- in care doesn’t cost as much as you probably think it does. I know this sounds strange but it’s true! Which means that having a live-in carer for your elderly parent, your partner or another loved one is a possibility.
We’ve teamed up with Elder, the UK’s leading specialist in live in care to explain more about 24/7 at-home care and find out how much does a live-in carer cost. They’ve just launched a Care Funding Calculator which makes it so much easier for you to understand what the cost would be for your family (more on this below!).
Staying Independent And At Home As We Age
In the UK, people are living for longer than ever before. In fact, by 2040 a quarter of us will be over the age of 65 and by 2060, it is estimated that there will be over 5 million people aged over 85.
As our parents age, it’s so important to speak with them and understand what their changing needs are, how they’re coping and their wishes for the future as it’s likely that they could require care at some point.
Chances are, your parent (and you if you thought about it) would like to stay in their own home during later life. 97% of people do, according to the Live-In Care Hub.
And having live-in home care for the elderly can help them achieve this whilst giving you, the sandwich generation, peace of mind that your parent is well looked after, independent and happy.
My grandpa (who lived to the grand old age of 94) had a live-in carer, and we agree as a family that it was one of the best decisions. He was vivacious, intelligent and sociable and his fantastic home carer matched his conversation skills whilst helping him with personal care to maintain his dignity.
What Is Live-In Care?
There are lots of care options available to the older generation, but ageing in our own home (in a safe and therapeutic environment) is the oldest and most respected form of social care globally.
But what actually is live-in care? Well, it is when there is a 24-hour live-in carer at home with your loved one, offering round the clock support seven days a week. The carer’s role is to meet your loved one’s daily needs and provide companionship so that they maintain the highest quality of life possible in their later years.
When looking for a live-in carer, it’s important that their experience matches the personal care that your elderly parent needs. This could range from help with getting out of bed, washing, hair and make-up and eating, as well as helping with more personal concerns such as incontinence or conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or stroke recovery.
The number of people in the UK living with dementia is growing. We’ve answered lots of your dementia questions in this article, and also looked at the best calming and fun activities for people living with dementia.
Elder uses unique matching technology to pair each care recipient with three carers based on their personality and needs. You can then choose who’s best for the job. Meaning that live-in care is as individual as those who need it.
On a practical level, a live-in carer can help with driving to appointments, answer the phone or door (reducing the likelihood of scams) and offer social interaction.
Benefits Of A Live-In Carer
Having a live-in carer means that your elderly parent’s life doesn’t really need to change. They can keep their beloved pet, eat their favourite foods, maintain their hobbies and leave the house (pandemic pending) with one-to-one support.
But did you know that live-in care can also help reduce the risk of your older loved one falling over? Whilst one in three over 65s will fall over at least once a year, this is not a natural part of the ageing process. Falls can happen for a number of reasons (tripping over, backless slippers, dehydration and more) and having a live-in carer can help prevent these, equating to a third fewer falls in older adults in comparison to residential care (stat from Live-In Care Hub).
As our parents get older, a fall can become a big worry. ElWell is run by physiotherapist Nancy Farmer, and she’s passionate about falls prevention in the elderly. If you’re worried about your mother or father falling at home, then find out more in our in-depth article.
Fewer falls means that there are less hip fractures and hospital admissions. Which in turn helps to promote independence and health – and gives peace of mind to the family.
Is Live-In Care An Affordable Option?
In a nutshell, yes! Live-in care can be an affordable care alternative, allowing your loved one to stay safe, healthy and independent at home.
We wrote this article because people were asking us ‘how much does a live-in carer cost?’ and the answer is that, with Elder it is from £925 per week. And depending on where you live-in the UK, a dedicated live-in carer 24/7 can work out cheaper or the same as a care home.
There could also be the option for your parent to apply for Continuing Healthcare funding. CHC funding is when the NHS pays for care costs and it is assigned dependent on your parent’s primary health needs. For more information, we’ve written an article on this with expert advice from a solicitor who specialises in Continuing Healthcare.
Calculating The Cost Of Live-In Care
At present, elderly care (whether that’s hourly, live-in, or care home) has to be paid for. As Caroline Abrahams from Age UK said, “Care isn’t like the NHS so you don’t get it for free”.
Financing care and understanding how to navigate this minefield can be a real worry for families. Care is usually a decision that’s made during a crisis, but understanding your options and the final care costs doesn’t need to be as confusing as it is.
In response to this, Elder has launched a Care Funding Calculator. This easy-to-use online assessment helps your parent get all the funding they deserve, and cuts through all the confusion so you can see the true live-in care costs for your elderly parent.
Funding To Help With Elderly Care
Live-in care doesn’t necessarily need to be fully privately funded. Your loved one (as long as they’re over the age of 65 and not currently living with someone other than a partner) could be eligible for Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance or NHS Continuing Healthcare as well as local authority funding and a range of council tax reductions (these depend on where your loved one lives).
Not all of these are means tested or assessed on physical needs so can be claimed whatever your elderly parent’s financial situation.
Here’s some more detail on two of the key benefits.
You’re eligible for Attendance Allowance if your parent is over 65 and has a disability or illness so they find it hard to look after themselves (such as Parkinson’s disease). There are two set amounts available (£59.70 and £89.15) and the amount depends on the level of need. It’s tax free and isn’t means tested – to claim it you just need to fill in a (fairly lengthy) form.
There are two parts to this, Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit tops up weekly income if it’s below a certain amount (not taking savings, the home or pension into account). Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who have saved towards their retirement.
Leave it to Elder’s Care Funding Calculator to do the hard work here and work it out for you. So you can get every penny of the funding you’re entitled to.
How The Care Funding Calculator Works
It’s super easy to use. Split into three sections (personal details, care needs and financial situation), the tool will use the answers to understand the benefits and funding available. Fill it in, and Elder will then be in touch – and they’re always on hand if you need to ask questions too.
I know from personal experience how important live-in care can be to help older people achieve independent living, and reassure family members that they’re safe and getting the right amount of support. Contrary to what many people believe, having a live-in carer at home can be an affordable option.
And now, thanks to the Elder Care Funding Calculator it’s even easier to see what funding your elderly parent is eligible for. Thanks for reading – we hope it was useful. Leave us a comment, ask us a question or let us know what topic you’d like us to cover next! Or check out more of our articles over on the home page.
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