Home Help and your Household Budget
Home help expenses represent money spent on obtaining home help services either for yourself or elderly/disabled/mentally ill members in your household.
Home help expense in detail
Home help service providers provide different kinds of services.
- Personal care: This kind of help is ideal for the elderly. Carers provide support to elderly members in basic day-to-day activities like accompanying them for routine shopping, picking up their medicines, helping in cooking meals and bathing and other such personal activities.
- Housekeeping or home management: Under this plan, the carers attend phone calls, and carry out essential housework like dusting, washing, and laundry.
- Support during and after hospital visits: During hospital visits, carers provide support such as coordinating with GPs and nurses, helping in dressing changes, and inserting eye or ear drops. After hospital visits, the carers provide assistance such as personal care, washing of clothes, and bathing.
- 24-hour care: As the name suggests, a carer lives with the member for full 24 hours. The carer can provide support in cleaning and help in meals including shopping for groceries, cooking, and eating along with member. This support also includes housekeeping support for managing errands, personal care, providing companionship such as helping in hobbies and interests, going for a walk, and accompanying to doctor visits.
- Mental health support: Carers are available for helping patients with mental disorders like schizophrenia, or patients undergoing rehab for drug or alcohol abuse.
- Caring for pets: Support is available for taking care of pets such as feeding them or taking them out for walks.
- Respite care: In case you are caring for someone, and you want a short-term break from caring duties either for leisure or some work, carers can cover up for you. All types of support such as personal care, cleaning, taking out, and discussing hobbies is available.
Cost of home help
Home help costs depend on your location and the time when you require healthcare. To give you some indication as per 2010 rates (the rates will be higher now), daytime care on a weekday in London would have cost £13.77 an hour, and in Northeast the rate was £10.99 an hour. And, for the same locations, the rate for night time on the weekend was £14.46 and £13.67 respectively.
Let's look at some indicative prices published by Care UK, a leading provider of home help services.
- A three-hour visit for housekeeping can cost £39 to £58 each week
- A two-hour trip to the supermarket, including commute, can cost £26 and £39 for each trip
- Home care support after hospital stay can take up to 21 hours and can cost £269 and £403 per week
Based on the situation, home help can be quite a huge expense. You should check if you are eligible for any governmental support to ease some pressure off your household finances. For instance, healthcare related care and after-care expenses are covered under NHS. Similarly if your total assets are below £23,250 (excluding your home) you may be eligible for social care assistance from your local authority.
Use our household budget calculator to see how home help expense affects your finances.