In recent years, care home fees have raised to some of the highest we have seen them, and care home costs in the UK are among some of the most expensive. This is making it increasingly difficult for individuals to continue paying for care either for themselves or a family member. However, the cost of a care home is dependent on lots of different factors.
In this blog, we will explore the different costs associated with care homes, the different ways to find your care, and also the financial assistance that may be available to you.
Care home and nursing home costs in the UK differ for many reasons. Care homes can offer a variety of different care services as well as facilities and amenities, which can sometimes be included in an all-inclusive fee while others may charge for extras that are not covered by their standrad weekly flat fee. Care homes may also use different fee structures, including weekly, monthly, and pay-as-you-go.
If a care homes fees only cover the standard care, accomodation and meal costs, then you can expect charges for additional services such as personal medical services (chiropidy and physiotherapy for example), hair services, and trips out of the home. Dependent on the type of care needed, this may be a good option for you or your loved ones but for others, an all-inclusive way of living may be more suitable.
UK Care Guide states that through research, they found that the average care home fees vary from £27,000 to £39,000 per annum for a residential care home. The cost can increase to between £35,000 and £55,000 per year if specialist care such as nursing care or dementia care is required. Some websites may supply a care costs calculator that can be used to work out potential costs and affordability.
There are also other factors that will affect the cost of care including the location and accessibility. Care homes that are situated in the South of England, particularly in London, will cost a lot more than places located in the North.
No two care homes are the same, and this is something extremely important to note when you search for your ideal care home. Make sure to compare each care home based on their care types, their weekly costs, and the facilities and services that are offered.
Respite care is a short-term care type that is offered to those recovering from an illness or surgery that has resulted in them needing help getting back into their routine. Fees usually cover access to the same care plan service, support, and access to facilities as long-term residents but are more commonly paid per week due to being a short-term service that lasts from a few weeks to several months.
Alternatively, respite care is useful if caregivers need extra support for the short term to give them a well-deserved break. This will give them peace of mind that their loved one is being cared for to the best degree in a suitable environment, allowing them to fully kick back and relax.
Residential care costs are among some of the cheapest types of care compared to other full-time options. It is most suitable for those who are able to live their lives independently, but are seeking companionship or additional support with personal care and daily activities from care professionals.
Unless in an all-inclusive care home, residential care is usually offered at a standard fee for accommodation, meals, and care, meaning that more often than not, there is a need to pay for any extra personal services you may wish to receive. It is important to find out from the care homes that you are considering what is offered as part of their residential care service.
Nursing care is one of the most expensive types of care due to the more complex needs of the individual. If an individual is unable to live their life independently and requires more intensive medical support, nursing care would be the most appropriate option for them.
Differing from residential care, those receiving nursing care or dementia care typically need 24/7 care and support, which in turn makes the care home costs higher. However, all accommodation, care, support, medication management, and meals are provided to residents as part of that cost.
There is not just one expectation you should have when considering care home fees. The average nursing home cost would be higher than a residential home and all-inclusive care homes and ones offering specialist care are usually the most expensive due to the amount they are offering. With a more basic care package, individuals would usually be expected to cover additional personal care costs.
Before moving into a care home, it is important to find out what you will be receiving when you pay for care and if there are any other costs you should take into consideration.
All-inclusive care homes have become increasingly popular over the past decade due to the convenience of them. They differ from standard residential and nursing homes as the care services and facilities they offer are all included in one cost, meaning each resident will receive their personalised care, meals, personal care, and any other amenities available to them in their weekly or monthly fee. This means individuals can avoid paying extra fees along the line, although some costs beyond their fee structure may need to be paid for such as hair colouring and tickets for outings.
As everything is included in one fee, it makes all-inclusive homes a more expensive option but it does provide residents and their loved ones with peace of mind that there won't be any unexpected costs. All-inclusive care homes still offer multiple different types of care including residential care, respite care, dementia care, nursing care, and palliative care meaning they are still equipped to provide a continuum of care and a long-term environment.
Despite care home fees being the highest they have been in a long time, all-inclusive care homes are more commonly the preferred way of living. This is because you don't have to worry about any extra costs you may incur at nursing homes or similar, which could come unexpectedly. It is also preferred over live-in care as it relieves the stresses of household management and costs such as bills.
The responsibility for paying care home and nursing home fees typically falls on the person receiving the care. However, not everyone is able to afford these costs. In such cases, individuals who cannot afford care home fees may be eligible for financial assistance from their local authority or the NHS. To determine eligibility for support, a financial assessment and means test is conducted, taking into account the person's income and assets.
If you have the means to pay for your own care fees or if your family members can provide support, it is advisable to consult a financial advisor. They can help you understand whether you can afford your own fees long-term and explore available options if this is not the case.
The initial step when approaching getting financial help through support services is to apply for funding through the local council. The local council conducts a financial assessment and means test to determine an individual's savings and assets to see whether their income or private and state pensions fall above or below a specific savings threshold. If eligible, the local authority will contribute to the care costs by providing a 'personal budget'.
In cases where a person requires extensive care or has a 'primary health need', they may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding. Eligibility for CHC is based on a comprehensive assessment carried out by a multidisciplinary team (MDT), focusing solely on the individual's care needs and not by a means test.
If neither local authority funding nor NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is available, individuals can apply for a deferred payment agreement. Under this arrangement, the local authority pays the care costs through a loan agreement, which is repaid when the individual sells their assets, typically their home. It is important to note that interest is often added to the outstanding amount. Alternatively, individuals can use equity release to begin to pay back the remaining cost to the local authority.
It is crucial to understand that financial assistance is not guaranteed, and some care homes may not accept funding support. Before considering a particular care home, it is important to enquire about whether they accept financial support to avoid complications in the future.
Some individuals may be in a position where they can pay for care themselves without seeking funding support from a local authority or local council, making them a self-funder. In this circumstance, they will be expected to pay the full cost of care, including both personal care and medical care.
Whether a nursing home, residential care home, or all-inclusive care home is the right option for you, it is essential to look into whether self-funding the cost of your care is sustainable in the long term, and what you can do if this is not the case. The cost of your care can change based on care types, location, and facilities, and can also increase annually with inflation so these are also something to bare in mind when looking at being a self-funder.
Local council funding refers to the financial support provided by the local council to cover care home or nursing home fees for individuals who are unable to afford them on their own. Eligibility for this type of funding is determined through a means test, which involves a financial assessment based on the person's income and assets.
If someone meets the criteria for funding from a local authority, they will receive a specified weekly amount from the council to put towards the cost of the care home. However, it's important to note that this amount may or may not be sufficient to cover the full extent of care home fees. The actual budget allocated by the local council can vary based on the individual's needs and financial situation.
When receiving care funded by the local authorities, it's crucial to understand that the council will only cover the essential care home costs, such as accommodation, meals, and personal care. Any additional services or amenities, including transportation, social activities, or personal items, may need to be paid for by the individual or a family member. These additional expenses are commonly referred to as a top-up fee.
NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, also known as NHS CHC, provides comprehensive care support to individuals with significant healthcare needs. This type of funding covers nursing home costs and other healthcare-related expenses. Unlike local authority funding, NHS-funded nursing care is not subject to means testing. Instead, it is determined through an assessment conducted by a medical multidisciplinary team.
Eligibility for NHS CHC is based on the individual's healthcare needs, specifically if they have a "primary health need." This may include individuals with severe disabilities, long-term health conditions, diseases, or terminal illnesses. Those who meet the criteria will have all their care costs covered, including accommodation, meals, nursing care, and additional healthcare expenses.
While NHS Continuing Healthcare is a valuable funding option, it's important to note that eligibility is not guaranteed. It is wise to explore alternative options such as local authority funding or deferred payment agreements to ensure all available avenues for financial support are considered.
The UK government has announced a significant measure to ease the financial burden on elderly individuals seeking to reside in residential care homes. Starting from October 2025, an upper capital limit on care fees will be implemented, limiting personal care expenses to £86,000. This move aims to provide reassurance to both the elderly and their families who may require long-term care services. Once the fee cap is reached, individuals can retain more of their savings and assets.
It is important to highlight that the care home fees cap solely covers an individual's essential personal and medical care needs, not accommodation, meals, or bills. Any additional expenses, such as social activities, outings, and salon treatments, are also not covered and must be funded separately from the care seeker's personal budget.
However, it is also essential to clarify that this cap on care fees only applies to care seekers in the UK and does not include Northern Ireland.
Harrier Grange Care Home is an all-inclusive care home in Andover. We offer residents the opportunity to live a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle, all at one cost. Individuals will be able to avoid paying unexpected costs at Harrier Grange Care Home, giving both residents and their loved ones peace of mind. We offer first-class levels of Dementia Care, Nursing Care, Residential Care, Respite Care, and Palliative Care.
Alongside our different care types, we have a variety of facilities and amenities available for residents to use during all hours of the day. Some of these include a cinema room, an entertainment & activities programme, private gardens, and a salon & nail bar. Residents are encouraged to fill their days with their favourite activities, as well as try out new interests and hobbies whilst being supported by our dedicated team.
If you have any queries about how you should pay for your care, our care home costs, or any of our facilities, then please get in touch with a member of our friendly team by calling us at 01264 252 555 or emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, you can book a tour to get a firsthand look at our care home and what we have to offer. We look forward to hearing from you.