How Much Does A Live-In Carer Cost?

A live-in carer may be an appealing option if you (or your loved one) require a lot of help each day, such as with personal care and grooming, housework, medical needs or companionship. While this may seem like a great decision, you will of course need to consider the cost of hiring a live-in carer to see if it makes financial sense for your circumstances. 

Here, we are taking a closer look at how much a live-in carer could cost you, what is and is not included in the fees, how to fund live-in care, and how to arrange it. 

At Home Instead, our aim is to help people age positively and in place by bringing expert care to their home. For nearly 20 years, we have been providing the highest standard of care, and creating industry-leading training programmes for our Care Professionals that are accredited by nursing and medical professionals. Today, we are the world’s largest global home care network, supporting over 100,000 older adults with personalised, tailored care at home. So whatever questions you have about home care, we can help. 

What is live-in care?

Live-in care is when a trained, professional carer (or two or three carers on rotation) lives in your house with you to provide all of the necessary care you need, or coordinate other carers or medical professionals coming to the house to deliver the relevant care. 

This is a great way to ensure older adults can stay in their own home while having someone there with them for companionship and safety. A live-in carer might assist with things like personal care, specialist medical care (if trained to do so), cooking, housework, and more. 

An older person might opt for a live-in carer if they:

  • Require several types of care throughout the day and would prefer one or a small number of carers to handle everything  
  • Have complex care needs (like hearing or sight loss) that cause them to struggle around the house
  • Worry about falls or accidents and would prefer to have someone with them 24/7
  • Have a dementia condition and may need a live-in carer to ensure safety
  • Have growing care needs as a health condition advances 
  • Cannot afford to move to a care home but need round-the-clock care
  • Have been unable to settle in a care home or nursing home 
  • Have a spouse and want to stay together in their own home
  • Have a challenging recovery ahead after a hospital stay and need a lot of care

You can read more about this in our guides to what live-in care is, and how live-in care works.

Live-In Carer Cost

Is there a set price for a live-in carer?

When it comes to live-in care, the cost is very hard to predict until you discuss your exact needs with the agency providing your carer. There are many variables, such as:

  • The needs of the client
  • How many live-in carers will be on rotation
  • Whether or not the client needs specialist medical care 
  • Where in the country the client is situated 
  • … and more

Every live-in care package is unique to the individual client, so the best way to gauge how much this will cost you is to get in touch with an agency who provides live-in carers and discuss this with them. As a rough guide to cost, live-in care through an agency often ranges from around £1,350 to £2,000 per week in the UK, depending on the factors mentioned above. 

At Home Instead, we can offer you a bespoke package to fit your needs, and our pricing reflects the superior standard of care we provide which prioritises your needs and preferences. Our Care Professionals can offer 24-hour live-in care, companionship care, complex live-in care for those with conditions like dementia, convalescent care for those recovering from an injury, illness or surgery, respite care, emergency live-in care, palliative care, or anything else you need to suit your exact requirements. 

Feel free to reach out to us for a personalised quote, or you may find more useful information on the cost of care in our guide to the cost of home care.

Live-In Carer Cost

Should I use an Introductory Agency for live-in care?

Introductory Agencies can seem more affordable than fully managed care providers, coming in at around £1,000 to £1,500. However, if you are looking to stick to a budget long-term this may not be the best option for you, since using these services means your carer would be employed by you, not by the Introductory Agency, and therefore could increase prices or add on services down the line. Introductory Agencies are also not regulated by the Care Quality Commission, which means you cannot guarantee that the care you are receiving is of the highest quality. 

Working with a fully managed care provider is usually the best option. Despite their weekly cost being slightly higher, they offer the protection of being regulated, manage your carer’s employment on your behalf, find replacement carers when needed, and offer ongoing support throughout the duration of your live-in care. 

You can learn more about the differences in our guide to introductory agencies versus managed live-in care providers.

Live-In Carer Cost

What is usually included within live-in care fees?

As above, the fees you will pay for live-in care will depend entirely on your own situation so you will need to discuss the specifics included with the live-in carer or agency through which you are hiring them. However, in most cases certain things will be included within the package of fees you agree upon. This will usually be:

  • The initial administration period of matching you with an appropriate carer 
  • The ongoing weekly cost of the carer(s)
  • The agreed upon services, such as help with personal care needs, housework, etc. (if the needs of the client change throughout the employment, the cost may be adjusted up or down depending on what is needed)
  • Night care (this may be included in your package if it has been agreed up-front) 
  • Certain types of equipment may be included within the package in order for the carer to do their job well, while other things may need to be sourced by you (this will be discussed and arranged beforehand) 

The carer or agency organising your care should discuss what is and is not included in advance so you understand the package of services you will receive, and any additional costs. We’ve written a guide on how live-in care works to give you some extra information.

Live-In Carer Cost

What is not usually included within live-in care fees?

Sometimes there are elements of live-in care that must be covered by the client, as not everything will come included as part of the package of services. These may include:

  • The cost of food and other groceries for the client
  • Additional food costs for the carer’s meals (these may be somewhere in the region of £5 per day) 
  • A travel allowance so the carer can take the client to appointments, activities or social events 
  • Any increase in energy prices (such as electricity or water bills) must be covered by the client 
  • Any additional equipment needed in order for the carer to do their job well, such as cleaning supplies, gloves, etc.
  • Increases to the price of your home insurance policy will remain your responsibility
  • Any additional safety equipment that the agency deems necessary for the carer to move into the home, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Potentially higher cost for overnight care if the client requires help during the night, such as medical care or help getting to the bathroom (again, these can be included as part of a package of services if agreed in advance) 
  • The cost of covering carers breaks if the client cannot be left alone, such as an additional hourly rate for a replacement carer (hourly rates can vary from around £20-35 per hour depending on your provider) 

Home care agencies and carers should be up-front and honest about what is and is not included in the cost of your live-in care so you never need to worry about surprise bills or additional fees. 

At Home Instead, we are proud to be transparent with our fees, so you can easily budget each month and keep on top of what you are spending on home care. From the minute you get in touch with us to discuss your needs, you can rest assured we will do everything we can to ensure you get exactly what you need at a cost that is sustainable for you long-term.

Live-In Carer Cost

Is home care more affordable than a care home?

Live-in care can sometimes work out to be a more affordable alternative to moving into a care home. According to Age UK, a place in a care or nursing home can cost on average between £800 and £1,078 per week depending on where you are in the country, and although the weekly cost of live-in care can sometimes be more expensive than this, it does mean you are only paying for the care you need instead of paying for a full list of services that may not be applicable to your health condition. 

Also, with a care home you would be paying for a place year-round, whereas by hiring live-in care at home, your family could step in to cover any gaps in care which could make it more affordable for you. 

Local councils will always aim to keep older adults living at home for as long as possible, which means live-in care is often looked at first before care homes. You can read more about the financial benefits of choosing home care over a care home in our guide.

Another point to consider when choosing between moving to a care home or staying in your own home is that choosing to stay at home with a live-in carer means you would not be forced to sell your property in order to pay for your residence in a care home. 

In addition, for couples who both need care, live-in care can be a fantastic option. Although the cost of live-in care will usually be between 10 to 15% higher if the carer is looking after more than one person, this will likely be more affordable than moving two older adults into a care home or nursing home. 

If you are still unsure about whether to choose live-in care or another living situation, you may find it useful to read our guides on assisted living vs live-in care, or live-in care vs nursing and care homes.

Live-In Carer Cost

How do I fund live-in care?

There are several ways to pay for your live-in care:

  1. Fully-funded, means-tested care through your local council
  2. Partially-funded care from your local council which is topped up by your own savings
  3. NHS funded care
  4. Self-funded care 

It is always worth looking into whether or not you are eligible for support or funding from your local council. We have a whole guide on paying for your home care services which could help you find out what you may be entitled to and what the best option is for you.

Also, even if you are not entitled to fully-funded home care, you should look into the benefits you may be eligible for that could help with the cost of your home care.

Live-In Carer Cost

How do I arrange live-in care for myself or a loved one?

If you are considering arranging live-in care, the first step to organising this is to book in a Care Needs Assessment through your local council. This is where you will be assessed to find out how much support you require, and what might be a suitable option. 

Next, your local council will create a Care Plan for you, which will include all of their recommendations for your care, and a full plan of action. It will be up to the assessor to determine what type of care you receive, and this decision will depend on your medical needs and personal circumstances, but you can request live-in care when they visit. 

Whether or not you involve the local council first, you can also look into private agencies who deliver home care services. If you are interested in discussing self-funded live-in care options, you should make a shortlist of the agencies you may be interested in and reach out to them for a discussion about the services they provide. At Home Instead, we are always happy to chat with you and answer any questions you have about live-in care. You can find out more information about getting started with live-in care in our guide on choosing and arranging home care services.

We understand deciding to take on a live-in carer can feel like a huge financial decision, so the Home Instead team are always on hand to answer any questions you have about funding live-in care, or the estimated costs you are likely to incur. No matter what type of home care you are looking for – from occasional help to live-in care – we can provide a tailored service that suits you or your loved one. Our Care Professionals are highly trained to deliver the individualised services you need, so no matter what type of home care you require, we can provide a tailored service that suits you or your loved one – get in touch to learn more.

We’re an award-winning home care provider and part of a worldwide organisation devoted to providing the highest quality relationship-led care for older people in their own homes. Arranging care for yourself or your loved one shouldn’t be stressful, so whatever questions you would like answered, feel free to reach out to the Home Instead team to discuss your needs.