Across the UK, there are numerous care homes and this amount continues to grow with the rising demand. Whilst this happens, there is a growing concern amongst care seekers about the costs associated with adult health and social care, and research shows that they are currently some of the highest in Europe.
In this blog, we will delve into the rise of care home expenses in the UK, exploring the average costs and detailing various financial support options. We will also discuss the different types of care homes and what is typically included in the cost of care.
Each type of care home in the UK will have its own unique structure for care costs which is dependent on the care types that are offered. The most common care home types are nursing homes, residential care homes, and all-inclusive care homes. A nursing home is a more expensive care home type compared to a residential care home because of the higher level of care that's needed. As well as the types of care, the costs of care can vary based on location, facilities and the size of the home. Some care homes require fees to be paid on a weekly or monthly basis, but others may adopt a pay-as-you-go approach. The total cost of care will depend on any extras that the individual chooses, such as trips to the local community, in-house facilities and activities.
It is essential to note that in most care home fees, only the accommodation, meals and care are included. The resident would need to cover the extra services or amenities such as hair salon appointments, local excursions and activity participation if they are a self-funder.
The average care home fees are determined by the type of care you require. For a residential care home, the average weekly cost of care is £600 but the average nursing home cost is a higher amount, sitting at £800 a week. Nursing home fees are the most expensive base rate because of the high-level needs of residents.
This figure may vary depending on the location of the care home. If you reside in London, you should expect your care costs to be higher than those that live in the North West of the UK or in Northern Ireland.
It is important to do research into different care homes in your ideal location, to find the care options and facilities that are most appropriate for you or your loved one. Book home tours so that you can get a feel for the environment and ask any relevant questions you have regarding their services or paying for care.
Nursing care should be considered for individuals who have high-level medical needs and are unable to live their lives independently. It is one of the most expensive types of care because of the high dependency needs and is normally paid per week like with other care types.
Nursing care is usually provided within nursing homes, but individuals can also choose to reside in an all-inclusive care home that offers all care types including nursing care. No matter which facility you choose to reside in, accommodation, nursing care and meals are all included as a baseline in the cost of your care.
Residential care is appropriate for those who can live independently for the most part, but who may require low-level assistance from a care assistant for things such as mobility, dressing and washing. A residential care setting also means that household chores are taken care of and meals are provided by the home on a daily basis.
Compared to other care types, residential care is more affordable due to the nature of a person's needs. Similarly to a nursing home, residential care costs are usually provided at a flat fee, meaning any extra services per week will come at an extra cost.
Dementia care is a specialist care type, similar to nursing care. The number of people who suffer from dementia is rapidly increasing every day, with figures currently sitting around 944,000 for people across the UK. Because of their extreme needs, dementia is provided in a nursing home or all-inclusive care home to allow them to receive the support they need.
A dementia team receives regular training to keep up to date with the latest research, technology and practices. A dementia care team will also provide residents with specific dementia-friendly activities and therapies to help minimise the complex symptoms associated with the condition.
Respite care is a form of short-term assistance provided to elderly individuals who are in the process of recovering from an illness or have undergone recent surgery. This type of care is also an excellent choice for caregivers seeking temporary relief from their around-the-clock caregiving responsibilities.
To determine the most appropriate and tailored care approach for someone receiving respite care, the management of the care home conducts a needs assessment of their requirements, which in turn determines the costs of the services provided per week.
The care home costs will vary slightly for each individual depending on the care home's care services, its location, and other amenities they offer the residents. Usually, these fees cover personal care needs, accommodation and meals.
Some care homes will charge for additional services, so it is essential that you communicate with the care home manager, find out how they structure their own fees, and compare them against other care homes. Some care homes are known as all-inclusive, which means all services, facilities and additional activities will be included, so there is no remaining cost after the weekly fees.
The main component to note about an all-inclusive care home is all of the costs, services and energy bills are included in the fee per week. There are 4 main care types provided within an all-inclusive care home, including nursing care, residential care, dementia care and respite care. This may differ depending on the home and as a whole, an all-inclusive way of living is more expensive than other care homes but because of the convenience and all the costs being included in one set price, it is an extremely popular type of care home.
Finding peace of mind among the current challenges of rising living costs becomes incredibly reassuring for care seekers and their loved ones when unexpected payments are no longer a concern. Choosing an all-inclusive approach includes a single, encompassing fee that takes care of your physical and mental well-being, first-class accommodation, 24/7 support, and full access to a range of facilities throughout your stay in your home away from home.
Completing thorough research across multiple care homes is an essential step in the process. You must find a home where your loved one feels comfortable, safe and surrounded by an environment where they can thrive. Visiting various care homes and making comparisons ensures that your decision aligns with your needs and preferences.
Care home fees across the UK are normally paid by the care seeker or their families if they are able to cover the full cost. However, not everyone is in a financial position to do this. If someone requires full-time support but cannot afford to pay the care home costs they may be eligible for help from the local authority for financial help or from NHS continuing healthcare. For this, an individual will need to have a financial assessment which includes using a care costs calculator and looking into a person's savings, assets, private and state pensions and personal expenses allowance to see if they meet the threshold.
If you are able to pay the cost of your care independently, it is important that you speak to a financial advisor to ensure that you can cover the full care home costs throughout the duration of your stay or if you need to consider any other options such as an equity release or a deferred payment agreement.
Depending on your personal situation, you might be able to get some financial support from the local authority. This is where the local authority pays the full amount or partial cost of your care. They'll conduct a means test by taking a look at your finances to figure out if you qualify. If this is the case, the local council will offer funding to cover some of your care expenses per week.
If someone requires high levels of 24-hour care or has a more complex health condition, they could be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare. This is only applicable to individuals with significant needs, both physical and mental. Unlike the means test for local council funding, NHS Continuing Healthcare doesn't look at your savings and assets. It's solely determined by whether your care needs are a 'primary health need'.
If you don't qualify for NHS or local authority funding, there's another option known as a deferred payment agreement. In this instance, the local authority lends you the money for your care, and you repay the amount when you sell your assets. Make note that they will usually add interest onto the total cost if you choose this option.
Not all funding is guaranteed from local authorities, and not every care home will allow a local authority to pay for care. Bear this in mind when visiting potential care homes and make sure you ask if they accept funding towards the cost of care before making the decision to move in.
If you are self-funding the cost of your care, this means it is either covered by yourself or a family member. Most commonly, those funding their own care costs will contribute their savings and assets to continue paying for care with ease. It is important to understand that if you are a self-funder, you are fully responsible for the care home costs and you won't receive any financial help.
Before choosing to take this route, it is advised to get in touch with a financial advisor who can carry out a financial assessment and outline fully if you are able to self-fund by looking at your pensions, savings and assets. Not all care home costs are structured the same way, so you should contact the specific care home you're interested in to find out how they expect residents to pay for care.
One option for funding you may be eligible for is local authority support. This is when the local council will provide you with payments that cover the cost of the care home fees if you are not in a position to do so on your own. To check eligibility for funding from local authorities, a means test is conducted which involves looking into your assets and income.
If you are deemed eligible for local authority assistance, your local authority will pay your fees per week. However, sometimes the amount paid by your local authority towards the cost of your care may not cover the full amount and you will have to pay for the remaining cost. Following a means test, the local council will adjust their personal budget accordingly to ensure you avoid paying too little or too much.
It is important to know that support from the local authority will only cover basic costs such as accommodation, meals and personal care. Other facilities or services, such as local excursions and specific personal items may require additional payments which will need to be covered by the care seeker or their families.
NHS Continuing Healthcare funding (CHC) is where the NHS covers the costs of care for residents who have a primary health need linked to a long-term illness or extreme health condition. It is essential to note this differs from local council support.
To determine if you are eligible for NHS-funded nursing care, an official assessment will be completed by a team of medical professionals. This assessment will thoroughly look into an individual's circumstances and capacity, assessing their care needs to work out if they're complex, unpredictable or intense.
The UK government has released plans for a fee cap and higher savings threshold that work towards alleviating the financial strain faced by elderly people who are considering a care home. Beginning in October 2025, an upper capital limit on care fees will be introduced, capping personal care fees at £86,000. As the fee threshold is met, individuals can avoid paying fees that put them out of pocket and can keep a higher portion of their savings and assets.
It is imperative to remember that the care home fees cap is exclusively applicable to cover personal care costs or medical care, excluding daily living aspects like accommodation, meals, and other utility costs. Any extra leisure expenses, such as social activities, outings, and salon treatments, are also not covered and must be funded separately from the individual's personal budget.
The Porterbrook Care Home is a purpose-built care home located in the Crospool suburbs of Sheffield, South Yorkshire. We offer unrivalled levels of Residential Care, Dementia Care and Respite Care. Our team of fully trained care experts are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week offering support to residents with whatever they need. Individuals residing with us and their loved ones can enjoy peace of mind that they can live a first-class way of life.
Our all-inclusive home is built with a foundation of respect for each individual’s needs and wishes, and we understand the importance of providing the flexibility for residents to make their own choices. Our expansive range of facilities and amenities are available for residents to use as and when they wish to, including an entertainment & activities programme, hair salon & treatment room, library and cinema room.
We understand that residents and their family members may have worries regarding self-funding their own care fees or have questions about the financial assistance that may be available. Our dedicated team is on hand to provide support, and advice and answer any questions you may have.
If you have any further queries regarding paying for care or any of our specific care types or facilities, get in touch with a member of our friendly team by calling 0114 266 0808 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.