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Is live in care cheaper than a nursing home?
July 22, 2023

If you are wondering if live-in care is cheaper than a nursing home here are some factors to take into consideration

When choosing care for yourself or a loved one, you may worry about the costs involved. Many people ask the question is live-in care cheaper than a nursing home?

Many people prefer the idea of remaining in their own home. However, it is often assumed that live-in care is more expensive than a residential care home or nursing home. This is often not the case. Live-in care can be the same or cheaper than residential care.

In addition, if you are living in your own home, its value will not be included in means-tested asset calculations which decide if you qualify for help with care costs.

In addition, for couples, the cost of live in care can be considerably cheaper than a care home.

Average care costs – is live-in care cheaper than a nursing home?

The average cost of a place in residential care is in excess of £50,0000 per year, rising to £100,000 or more in London and the South East. If you need more specialist care, such as medical nursing for a specific condition such as advanced dementia, the cost is likely to be closer to £60,000. The cost of a care home will include meals and laundry, however, your loved one will not receive one-to-one care. They will receive contact with carers at certain allocated times and in emergencies.

Full-time live-in care generally costs around £40,000 to £55,000 with costs again being higher in London and the South East. However, all the money spent goes on providing specialist one-to-one care rather than meals, laundry and accommodation. Live-in care provides a much higher level of value because there is so much dedicated, one-to-one personalised care provided. In addition, because the value of your home is not considered in means-test asset calculations, you may not have to pay all, or any of these fees yourself. Another benefit is that you will not have to sell your home to pay for care costs.

If a couple needs care, then they are likely to pay for two bedrooms and live separately in a care home. With live-in care, they can continue to live with their loved partner in their own home, with the support of a live-in carer. The costs for couples live-in care are comparable and often cheaper to that of a care home.

When trying to calculate if live-in care is cheaper than a nursing home, it’s a good idea to get some quotes for care costs locally. This will give you a better idea of what works out as the most suitable and cost-effective option for your situation.

The cost of care depends on the level of care needed

The cost of care will also vary depending on the level of support required by the client. Nursing care and dementia care generally cost more than caring for someone with less extensive needs. Nursing homes and homes specialising in dementia care usually cost more per week than a standard residential home. Live-in carers for people who require specialist or nursing care can also be more expensive. Again, it’s worth asking a local care provider for more information.

You can have a needs assessment undertaken by the local authority to determine the level of care required. Everyone is entitled to a care needs assessment, regardless of their financial circumstances.

The local authority will use this assessment to determine the level of care required. This will affect how much funding they will provide. However, the amount you receive will also depend on a financial means test.

Who pays for care home costs?

The amount that you will have to pay towards your care will largely depend upon the value of your savings, investments and property.  The local authority will complete a means-test to see how much you will have to pay and how much will be paid by the state.

If you are moving into a care home, then the value of the family home may be taken into consideration. However, this is not usually the case if a partner is still living in the property.

If you choose live-in care then you will continue to live in your own home. Consequently, the value of your home is not included in the means test.

How much can you have in savings before you have to pay for your care?

The savings threshold for care home fees in England for 2024 are:

     

      • Upper capital limit (UCL): £23,250

      • Lower threshold: £14,250

    If you have savings and assets of more than the upper limit, you will usually have to pay the full cost of your care. For those with savings and assets below the lower threshold, your local authority should cover the full cost of your care.

    If your capital falls in between the upper and lower thresholds, the local authority will pay part of the cost, but you will have to pay the remainder.

    From October 2025 the UCL will rise to £100,000. People with capital below this limit will qualify for financial help to meet their care and support needs. The lower capital limit will be increased to £20,000. Anyone with assets of less than £20,000 will not have to make any contribution for their care from their savings or the value of their home. A person with assets below the lower capital limit will pay only what they can afford from their income.

    Anyone with assets of between £20,000 and £100,000 will be eligible for means-tested support. 

    How is funding paid?

    If you are eligible for funding from the local authority, they will set a personal budget for you. You can then use this money to pay for the care that you choose. You can ask the local authority to arrange care, ask a private company to arrange it, or organise it yourself.

    If you are not eligible for any funding from the local authority, you are described as a ‘self-funder’. You can still ask the local authority to arrange the care you need.

    A new cap on care costs

    The government has announced a new cap on care costs from October 2025. They will introduce a cap of £86,000 on the care costs an individual needs to spend to meet their needs. Where a person has significant assets and is self-funding their care plan, they will not need to spend more than £86,000 on their personal care over their lifetime. When you have paid £86,000, the state will then be required to fund all of the person’s eligible needs.

    The benefits of live-in care

    elderly lady with her pet dogReceiving live-in support can often be an affordable alternative to moving into a care home.  The real bonus is that you can stay in your own home, surrounded by everything familiar to you. You can keep to your routines and your pets, and enjoy family and friends in your local community. Mumby’s live-in care is passionate about listening to their client’s wishes and improving their quality of life.  Our live-in carers not only look after what needs doing but also support you to do the things that matter to you. In addition, your live-in care costs go to providing specialist one-to-one support that is tailored to your exact needs.

    How Mumby’s can help

    Here at Mumby’s, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality live-in care tailored to each individual’s needs. We believe that live-in care offers the best care as well as the independence many people want. Live-in care also provides good health outcomes as care, safety, nutrition, exercise and wellbeing support can be tailored to each individual’s needs.

    At Mumby’s, you can choose our Fully Managed Service where you don’t need to worry about hiring carers and overseeing the care they provide. Mumby’s managed service is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and has achieved an outstanding rating. We also offer a lower-price live-in care option, called Introductory Care. With this option, we introduce a self-employed live-in carer to our client.

    For a friendly, no-obligation chat about your care needs call us today at 01865 391187 or email info@mumbys.com.

    Useful Links

    Live in Care Cost and Funding

    Guide to Funding Live in Care

    Live-in care vs care home

    Why Choose Mumby’s Live-in Care

    Seven Benefits of Live in Care