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Guide To Care Home Costs

If you’re thinking about a care home for yourself or a loved one, one of the first logical steps is to look into care home costs. There are different types of care provisions available depending on your needs, and the cost of residential care can differ to the cost of nursing home care, for example. 

There are various funding options to look into, as well as a cap on care home fees to help those paying for care. Originally planned to take effect from October 2023, this is now being introduced by the UK Government in October 2025 to limit how much individuals have to spend on care over their lifetime. In line with this, the care home fees threshold for self funding has increased to £86,000 to make moving into a care home easier for those who need it. Understanding all of this before making a decision is important to ensure you can comfortably afford the appropriate care. In addition, when looking at care homes, you’ll need to consider the care home fees for each, what those fees cover, and the details of any contracts.  

Whether you’re self-funding care home costs or accessing available benefits, this guide delves into what you need to know. From the difference in nursing home prices compared to the cost of residential care homes, and the government-funded options available, we’ll help you make an informed decision. 

Where To Start With Care Home Costs

Care home costs will naturally vary depending on the individual care home and the level of care required. Care home fees can even change according to where in the country the care home is. Average care home fees are more expensive in London than nursing homes in Manchester and the rest of the UK, for example. This is why it’s important to look at the care provision as a whole and decide if the fees reflect the service. Care homes offering more comfort and a greater staff ratio may cost more, but may also provide a better quality of life for residents. Therefore, it’s important to assess all elements – not just the actual care home costs, but also the services expected and included. Visit each care home so you know exactly what you’re getting for your fee and can move forward with a clear idea of how much you’ll need to pay for your care. 

Care Needs Assessment

Different types of care will also incur different costs; for instance, care home costs for those solely needing residential care may be less than for those accessing dementia care services. A care needs assessment is the first step to finding out what type of care you or your loved one needs. The assessment is free and is conducted by your local council. You can find more information and organise a care needs assessment on the Gov UK website. 

women discussing care home costs

How Much Does A Care Home Cost?

There is no single set price of care homes and there are many factors that will be taken into account for your care home fees. These include:

  • The level of care – residents requiring nursing or dementia care will need a higher level of provision than those looking at residential care
  • Location – as well as different parts of the country having different care home costs, there can be a discrepancy between rural and urban areas, with urban care homes usually costing a little more
  • Accommodation – the price of care homes with more luxurious interiors or a high standard of amenities, such as private rooms with en-suite showers, will be more
  • Facilities – similarly to the level of accommodation, extra facilities like ample outdoor spaces or a choice of restaurants will incur higher care home fees
  • Features – above and beyond the basics, some care homes offer hair salons or concierge services, which will naturally affect the cost

When you contact a care home as part of an initial enquiry, you are entitled to ask for as much information as you need as part of your consumer rights. This includes access to reports, staffing information and what is included in the care home costs. It’s worth noting that some services are not included in basic care home costs. Days out, nail bars and even Wi-Fi could be extra. Double check the fine print on any contracts to ensure the price you think you are paying is what you will actually pay. 

What Is Included In Care Home Fees?

Not all care homes include the same services in the care home fees, which is why you should carefully review the terms and conditions before committing to a care home. In most cases, care home fees include:

  • Accommodation
  • Personal care, such as washing, dressing and mobility
  • Meals and snacks
  • Utilities such as heating and water
  • Housekeeping including laundry, cleaning and making beds
  • Monitoring and administering medication 
  • Use of the facilities 
  • Most activities and events 

Costs that may not be covered are:

  • Transport, for example to and from medical appointments
  • Beauty facilities 
  • Toiletries
  • Extra activities, especially those outside of the care home
  • Condition specific therapies
  • Chiropody
  • Hosting family or friends for celebrations
  • A room with garden or balcony access 
  • Contents insurance

At New Care Homes we are clear about our fees and what is included, and will explain how our care home fees work so you have all the information to make a decision.  

The Cost Of Residential Care Homes 

Residential care homes are a safe and comfortable place for seniors to live. Staff look after residents’ personal care needs, such as washing and dressing, and seniors also enjoy activities and socialising. The cost of residential care homes averages at £800 per week, according to Age UK. However, this is an average value calculated according to a huge range of different types of care homes. Private care home costs will often be more than this due to the breadth of facilities and the expert-led care on offer. Self funded private care homes can range from approximately £1200 to £1700 per week. 

The Cost Of Nursing Home Care

You can expect the typical nursing home cost to be more than residential care costs because of the extra level of care involved. The average cost of nursing care listed by Age UK is £1,078 a week. As above, this figure is a baseline, and for those homes where the facilities are of a higher standard and staff qualifications and training are greater, there will naturally be an increased cost. You may expect to pay between £1300 to £1800 a week for self funded nursing care. A nursing home supports those with higher care needs by providing registered nursing care. Here at New Care Homes we offer both residential and nursing care side by side, meaning residents enjoy the same facilities, restaurants and activities, while also having access to 24-hour nursing care. 

Dementia Care Home Costs

Dementia care homes offer specialised support for those living with dementia. This additional support means that, again, there will be a rise in care home fees. Dementia care homes have staff who are trained and experienced in delivering personalised care. The cost of dementia care homes typically includes accommodation, meals, assistance with daily activities, medication management, and tailored dementia care programmes. This means to self fund dementia care you can expect to pay around £1200 to £1700 a week. 

Respite Care Home Costs 

Respite care is a temporary option and, as such, the cost of respite care will vary according to the length of time you are at the care home and the level of care required. Respite care costs can be higher than residential care, starting in the region of £1400 and increasing to £1800 depending on the care service. Nursing and dementia respite care costs will have an additional fee due to the additional medical care needed.

The Cost Of Home Care

The cost of at-home care can vary considerably. This is because it can be charged by the hour, or may also involve overnight stays that will increase the overall cost. What you pay for home care will largely depend on how often you require a home carer and for how long. The type of support needed can also affect the cost of home care; for example, general errand running or meal preparation will have a lower cost than if there are personal care needs or if medication management is required. If a person needs live-in care, then this will cost a lot more, and you may therefore need to decide if home care or residential care is the right choice. 

The Cap On Care Costs

To help individuals pay for their care home costs, the UK Government has announced plans to introduce a cap on care home fees. The cap is set at £86,000, and means that anyone self-funding their care will not have to pay over this amount for the duration of time they require care for. The caveat is that this cap on care home fees only applies to personal care; for example, washing, dressing, and health management. The guidance is still in its infancy, but it may be that accommodation, food, and wellbeing measures are not classed as ‘personal care’ and so may not come under the cap on care costs initiative. 

Although originally announced in 2021 with a view to being launched in October 2023, the scheme is now not set to come into effect until October 2025. As it stands, there is no cap on care costs and those who are self-funding need to cover the total cost if they have assets above £23,500. This threshold is also set to increase to £100,000 to further protect those who have to pay care home costs