What is the avearge cost of a care package?

My mother lives alone and has been assessed by the council as needing care three times each day (to ensure meds taken, food eaten and the heating is working). There are no personal services for washing, foot care, or housework. She isn't taken shopping or to a day-care centre either.

Don't get me wrong, I am very relieved this package has been set up, but I am wondering of it is possible to get the same level of work done by a private agency? One where we have more control over visiting times and social activities?

For these three short visits a day, the council agency charges £880 per month, and mother is deemed to be able to contribute £20 towards this. When her Attendance Allowance and Pension Credits are granted, she will have to pay these sums over to the council, making her overall contribution about £540 each month.

I know the charges need to be paid, and she has the income to pay for it, but is it the best value in your opinion? It seems an awful lot of money for less than 45 minutes work each day.
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  • Have you and your mother considered her moving into a residential / care home? Yes, it would cost more but you say she has the income to pay for it and it would provide her with a more comprehensive care package and better value.

    Its a big step but now might be the time to look at all options
  • Beenie
    Beenie Posts: 1,628
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    Care home fees are , I think, about £800 per week. That is far more, and unaffordable, than the £800+ per month the council is charging.

    She is deemed fit to live independently at the moment, but with the appropriate care package. A care home is on the horizon, but not yet.
  • Steve_xx
    Steve_xx Posts: 6,960
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    edited 7 March 2018 at 12:48PM
    Beenie wrote: »
    Care home fees are , I think, about £800 per week. That is far more, and unaffordable, than the £800+ per month the council is charging.

    She is deemed fit to live independently at the moment, but with the appropriate care package. A care home is on the horizon, but not yet.

    I must say that if mum receives 45 minutes per day and the cost is £880 per month, then it does sound very expensive to me. I divided the cost over 30 days and I can see that it comes out at £39.11 per hour. Actually, it may be even more than that because I have assumed a calendar month of 30 days when in fact the £880 charge you mentioned may be for four weeks, ie 28 days? In which case the charge rises to £41.90 per hour.


    I have recent experience of a lady who receives two care visitors, twice daily for 1 hour on each visit, ie each carer is there for half an hour each on two occasions each day. So it is two hours per day in total. I understand that the charge for this to be £140 per week, therefore it works out at £10 per hour.


    The lady concerned gets state pension, topped up with some pension credit. She gets Attendance Allowance and Mobility Allowance. She doesn't have a huge amount in savings, ie about £10k. I believe she was assessed by her local authority as being liable to contribute £1.65 per week for her care but as the amount is quite small they seem to have decided not to recover it.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,798
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    The costs are expensive, and you might be able to organise similar for a smaller sum, but you do have to factor in what an agency is doing for their money. As well as the carer attending, there will be back office staff and systems ensuring that the right carer goes to the right place at the right time. The back office staff will organise cover if a carer is sick, sometimes at short notice. They will pay employer's NI, holiday pay and pension contributions. They will, if they are a good agency, pay more than NMW or Living Wage to suitably qualified and trained staff, AND pay for travel time and mileage. And so on.

    You might be able to go down the Direct Payments route and organise and pay the carers yourselves, but this would mean that you (on behalf of your mother) would be the employer, or you'd be contracting care staff through an agency. Either way, the additional costs I mentioned above would be there. And if you're the employer, then it's down to you if someone is sick, or on holiday, and you need to give them paid holiday, organise a pension, and so on and so forth.

    You've nothing to lose by phoning round a few local agencies and asking what their charges are.
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  • Alfrescodave
    Alfrescodave Posts: 985
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    Beenie wrote: »
    Care home fees are , I think, about £800 per week. That is far more, and unaffordable, than the £800+ per month the council is charging.

    She is deemed fit to live independently at the moment, but with the appropriate care package. A care home is on the horizon, but not yet.

    My dad's care home fees are £525 per week, so yes it is more than the £800+ per month that your council is charging but the overall package that he receives is infinitely better.

    The point I'm making is don't make important decision based upon assumptions - make sure you have all the relevant facts. Care home fees can vary enormously depending upon location and service offered.
  • My MIL paid £91 a week for carers 6 times a day, she went into a home in December its £514 a week and the home is great and the care excellent, she has settled quicker and better than we could have hoped
  • Frogletina
    Frogletina Posts: 3,857
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    My relative is charged just under £16 an hour - however the minimum charge is for half an hour, even if the visit only lasts 15 minutes.

    We have now amended the visits from 3 to 2 a day as his daughter calls each weekday morning, and he seems to be coping with the 2 carers visits.

    It is self funded, and although we had the option of the council arranging it, we wanted to choose the company ourselves. We were told that the company we wanted, who had been since he had been discharged from hospital, did not work via the council in his area but might be prepared to do so privately, and they agreed to do so.

    Average monthly cost is a little under £500 a month for the two visits, but it can be amended easily (with notice) if an extra visit needed, or one needs to be cancelled. They also provide domestic care by the hour at a slightly higher cost.

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  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,613
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    In terms of your mother's care, the figures quoted seem quite reasonable. I say this after looking for carers for my dad in Hertfordshire.

    The £880 if multiplied by 12 and divided by 52 gives a figure of just over £203/week.
    Now if you divide 203 by 7, I get £29/day.

    The private care agencies were charging something like
    £20 for a 1hr visit (or a part of)
    £15 for a 30 min visit (or a part of)
    Some agencies didn't quote for less than an hour and other agencies were much more expensive.
    So based on my dad's figures, my dad would be charged £45 for 3 visits per day.

    So £29 for 3 visits per day seems reasonable to me.

    And if you think £29 is expensive, remember the employer and ultimately your mother, also have to pay for travelling time etc. You can't expect carers on minimum wage not to be paid for travel time.

    HTH
  • Steve_xx
    Steve_xx Posts: 6,960
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    edited 11 March 2018 at 12:28PM
    lr1277 wrote: »
    In terms of your mother's care, the figures quoted seem quite reasonable. I say this after looking for carers for my dad in Hertfordshire.

    The £880 if multiplied by 12 and divided by 52 gives a figure of just over £203/week.
    Now if you divide 203 by 7, I get £29/day.

    The private care agencies were charging something like
    £20 for a 1hr visit (or a part of)
    £15 for a 30 min visit (or a part of)
    Some agencies didn't quote for less than an hour and other agencies were much more expensive.
    So based on my dad's figures, my dad would be charged £45 for 3 visits per day.

    So £29 for 3 visits per day seems reasonable to me.

    And if you think £29 is expensive, remember the employer and ultimately your mother, also have to pay for travelling time etc. You can't expect carers on minimum wage not to be paid for travel time.

    HTH

    Based on your figures, the original poster would be paying one third more per hour at least, ie you reckon £20 per hour to be reasonable based on the charges you mentioned. Bear in mind that the person receives 45 minutes worth per day. Therefore the cost is running at 64p per minute, or even more if the £880 figure is for a four weekly period, rather than a calendar month.

    Given what the person that I mentioned pays, it seems expensive. But of course demographics will play their part.
  • SevenOfNine
    SevenOfNine Posts: 2,349
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    My late FiL paid £480 every 4 weeks for 2x20 min visits per day AM & late evening (dementia). "Checked he'd had breakfast/tea & meds taken & had a nice chat", quoting many entries in the carers record book.

    No, not good value.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
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