hourly care costs for home care

How much do care agencies charge per hour?

6 min read |
Alistair Clay Author

Author 08.06.2023

Alistair Clay

When organising care for a loved one, many families will ask the question how much do care agencies charge per hour?

Knowing this cost allows you to budget and plan home care visits for a loved one.

Having this information also allows your loved one to make informed decisions about the kind of care they want.

This article will cover the question of 'how much do care agencies charge per hour' and help you break down the costs.

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:

  • Home care agencies and private carers provide care for people at home, so they can continue living independently. 
  • What home care agencies charge per hour is dependent on factors such as the care that’s needed and at what time. 
  • Geographical location also plays a role in determining the cost of home care by the hour.
  • Knowing your chosen provider’s prices and how they handle any changes will help you plan for what you’ll pay.
How much does in home care cost

What is home care? 

Home care is known by a number of names, including care at home, home help and domiciliary care. 

It is for people who need support at home to help them live independently, as an alternative to a care home or assisted living

A range of tasks can be carried out during home care visits, mainly around the activities of daily living

This includes washing and dressing, household duties, moving around at home, personal care and managing medication.

Who needs home care

Who needs home care?

Anyone needing support to continue living in their own home can access home care, whatever their needs. 

Home care is an essential form of help for elderly at home that can encourage independence and confidence. 

And if an elderly loved one is struggling to do things they used to at home, there’s no shame in getting support. 

This support can be accessed through a home care agency or by hiring a private carer to help you at home.

Confused about care funding?

Free Care Funding Guide Download

What is a home care agency? 

A home care agency is a registered business that trains carers to provide care to people needing it in a private home setting. 

Some services are for elderly carers while others focus on disability or mental health.

All elderly carers undergo training to equip them with the skills to support elderly people.

For more information about what home carers do, read our guide to what is domiciliary care?

What is the alternative to a home care agency?

If you don’t want to organise care though a home care agency, you can hire a private carer or a personal assistant. 

They do the same job as an agency elderly carer but may have more flexibility and offer a more personalised service. 

This option is more for people who are funding their own care rather than receiving financial support from the council. 

If you choose a private carer, ensure they are registered with the CQC – read our guide what is the CQC to find out why.

How much do care agencies charge per hour?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. 

This is because how much care agencies charge per hour is dependent on factors such as:

  • Where you live 
  • The care services you need
  • Your care provider
  • Daytime or overnight
  • Weekends and holidays

Plus, someone needing complex nursing care may be charged more for the service than someone receiving general care at home.

What does the cost include?

What you are charged by your home care agency is mainly based on the care you receive and when you receive it. 

However, there may be additional fees that you don’t always consider at first. 

So it’s important that you understand what you are paying for at an agreed price and any extras that you’ll have to cover.

care at home costs per hour

Extra costs care agencies charge you

To avoid paying unexpected fees you should ask the care agency you choose about every eventuality. 

The need for care doesn’t always come at convenient times and you might have to pay extra sometimes…

  • Agencies generally charge a higher rate for half hour visits, rather than 50% of the hourly fee. 
  • Cancelling care visits (even in unplanned or emergency circumstances) can lead to more fees. 
  • Care in the middle of the night or on a Sunday morning is more expensive than during regular working hours.

Need to know what care costs you might face?

The cost of elderly care

What to expect from home care costs

Based on the costs of home care providers in the UK, the average hourly costs are between £20 and £30. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that additional half hours can be more expensive in the case of home care visits

And you can expect to pay a call out fee of a few pounds, or even be charged for every mile that your carers travel to you. 

An average price list

The costs mentioned in this following section should only be used as a rough guide.

Hourly care visits cost, on average, around £26 per hour. 

Live-in care for a single person costs around £1500 per week and for a couple around £1800 per week. 

Providers won’t necessarily have special dementia care prices or other specific prices, as this is included in the hourly rate.

What types of care are available as home care

What types of care are available as home care?

All types of elderly care care can be given either at home or in a care home setting. 

Where you receive the care you need is down to your personal preferences or what you agree with your funding body. 

You can receive smaller care elements that contribute to the bigger picture such as companion care, personal care or home care assistance

As well as more specialised care needs such as palliative care or respite care, which may be provided under a live-in care plan.

Regional differences for what care agencies charge per hour

Regional differences for what care agencies charge per hour

How much do care agencies charge per hour in London?

In London, you may find that what home care agencies charge per hour is at the higher end of the £20 – £30 bracket. 

This is generally due to the fact that the London Living wage is higher than in other parts of the country. 

The higher cost of living and therefore higher charges are reflected in other areas such as house prices.

How much do care agencies charge per hour in the north

How much do care agencies charge per hour in the north?

Home care agencies in the north of England may charge at the lower to mid range of the £20 – £30 bracket. 

Generally, it is considered cheaper to access home care or other care services here, due to the regional cost of living being lower. 

However, you should always get the full quote from a care agency with a breakdown of fees.

How to pay for home care

How to pay for home care

The prospect of paying for home care can be daunting as, while necessary, it can be very expensive. 

If you are able to afford your own care, you’ll be able to choose your provider and organise payment directly with them. 

In the case of people receiving local authority funding for care in your own home, either some or all of your care costs will be paid. 

Who pays for what care is established through a care needs assessment.

NHS Continuing Healthcare

Those who are eligible to receive NHS Continuing Healthcare, due to an ongoing primary health need, can receive it at home. 

This means that the NHS covers the cost of home care for eligible people with complex health needs. 

Feel confident organising care

Feel confident organising care

Finding care for your loved one doesn’t have to be a stressful experience that takes hours of emotional energy. 

With Sweet Pea, you can confidently find and organise your loved one’s care wherever you are, at a time that’s convenient for you. 

From finding a companion for preventing loneliness to someone to help around the house, Sweet Pea helps you find the right care.

Just click below.

Alistair Clay Author

Author 08.06.2023

Alistair Clay

Alistair is a founding Director of Sweet Pea Care and the Managing Director of social care communications agency Arc Seven where he advises some of the UK’s biggest care providers.