For those loved ones who need full-time care, there are a few options you need to consider. The most common conundrum is deciding whether you want your loved one to live in a care home with residential staff on hand, or whether you want a live-in carer.
Live-in carers offer the advantage of allowing your loved one to remain in their own home, with a familiar environment they don’t have to share with a host of new faces. However, many assume that is highly expensive compared to a care home. We are going to look at the costs involved in hiring a live-in carer, showing how surprisingly cost-effective it is. It’s time to ask the question: how much does a live-in carer cost?
Most agencies like Orchid Care do not employ the carers that they help patients connect with. Rather, the carers are self-employed, and the agency simply helps you find the carer with the specific skills you need. As part of that service, a one-off administration fee of £125 is charged, covering the paperwork and administration involved in finding a carer. Following that, the agency charges £105 a week by ongoing standing order.
Besides the fees charged by the agency, you also have to consider the costs of the carer, themselves. If you hire a carer through Orchid Care Agency, all carers have a flat rate of £630 a week. Finding a carer without the help of an agency can see this figure vary wildly, so it might cost more to hire a carer outside of an agency. Furthermore, clients reimburse carers for any transportation needs they might have to get to your home. If they use public transport, this means paying the cost of second-class options. Ensure you understand all the costs involved by closely reading the contracts between the carer and you, the client.
If you research the costs of care homes, you will find that generally they cost more than live in care. Why? Because in addition to your loved one’s room, you are paying, in part, towards the bills and overheads that the care home has to cover as part of its own expenses. If nursing is required, this can increase the costs of a care home by up to £10,000 a year on average. You might also have to pay more for extra services like days out, hairdressing, and certain therapies. Unlike when you are choosing a care home, you don’t have to factor in the value of your home when calculating how much you pay into care.
Live-in care can be more cost-effective than you might imagine. But besides potentially saving money depending on whether you need part-time or full-time care, you are also paying for the difference of experience that live-in care provides.
The biggest difference is, of course, that your loved one can continue to live at home, in settings that are familiar to them. Many people want to remain in the same area with the neighbours they have known for years, and having that sense of a social life has been shown to improve their emotional and mental health in the long run. They can potentially make friends in a care home, but it can be difficult to make new connections as we grow older. The presence of a familiar social support system is not to be underestimated.
Furthermore, if a loved one has any memory disorders, the move from a home they have lived in for years to a new and unfamiliar environment can be very bewildering. Another important factor worth considering is that you, the client, have more control over the environment and the level of care you receive. There is some concern as to whether a loved one is being taken care of properly when they are far away, and some have reservations about leaving them in care homes. With a live-in carer, that’s not a concern.
Hopefully, the information above has offered some help in answering the question how much does a live-in carer cost. As you can see, it can be more cost-effective than many think with several advantages to offer over care homes. Consider your finances and your needs carefully before you rule anything out regarding you or your loved one’s care.