There is a misconception among many people that if they are elderly or have reduced mobility or a disability – physical or mental – or simply struggle with day-to-day tasks, that they will get some financial help to pay for support or access to free services.
This is not the case.
As clarified on the government’s website, if a person has savings of more than £23,250 they are not entitled to help with the cost of care from their local council and will have to pay for the care and support themselves; this is regardless of whether they arrange this privately or ask their council to arrange it for them.
Are there any non-means tested benefits to help with care costs?
Yes. There are a few depending on age. For example, Attendance Allowance is for people over State Pension age who need help at home because of an illness or disability. It doesn’t matter how much the recipient earns or has in savings.
Attendance Alllowance is £57.30 a week for people who require help either in the day or at night; and rises to £85.60 a week for people who need help both day and at night.
How much does care cost if you are self-funding?
Social care can be expensive. A typical hourly rate for a live-out carer is around £15-£20 per hour, although this can vary according to location.
Paying for a live-in carer can vary in cost from £650 a week upwards, depending on the level of care needed.
Where does Homeshare come in?
Homeshare is often the first step on the support ladder. Costing just £5 per day (which equates to £35 per week), it can be paid for out of even the lower rate of Attendance Allowance, and still leaving some spare for other expenses. A live-in Sharer commits to giving around 15 hours of support each week in a mix of low-level practical help plus some company. As the Sharer lives in the property, there is also the reassurance of an overnight presence in case of emergency.
|Requirement||Homeshare||Live out Personal Carer||Live out help with shopping/ cooking/ cleaning||Overnight carer||Live in Carer||Day Care Centre|
|Cost||£35 per week for live in Sharer giving 15 hours support each week||£24 approx. per hour||£15 approx. per hour *||£100-150 approx per night||£650-£1600 per week||Approx £50 per day, PLUS meal and transport|
|Cooking||Yes||Yes – Heating up meals||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Light cleaning||Yes||Only related to the personal care||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Sharing meals and company||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes – nb meal is extra|
|Someone sleeping in the house overnight||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|* Share and Care Homeshare||* Age UK||*Age UK||* Hometouch||* Gov.uk||* Merton Council|
Homeshare offers enormous value as an option for support in the house. It is a low-cost option for self-funders and can sit alongside other support services and care packages, if required.