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In the UK, care home costs vary, based on the type of care required, the region you live in and any funding you’re entitled to.
Depending on your total assets, you may qualify for assistance to help with care home fees via local council funding or through the NHS.
Here, we’ve shared the average cost of care homes across the UK for different types of care, and whether you will be eligible for funding support.
Article and Figures Last Updated: September 2023
The average weekly cost of living in a residential care home is £928, while the average nursing home cost is £1,025 per week. Our data shows that annual residential care home fees cost around £48,000, while nursing care costs around £53,000 per year.
Care home costs vary, depending on the type of care provided. For example, a residential care home offering support with day-to-day activities like washing and dressing will cost less than a nursing home that provides 24/7 support for all residents from specially-trained nursing staff.
Care costs will also differ based on the facilities a home offers and where the home is located. Generally, you’ll find that care homes are more expensive in some parts of England, including London and Kent.
The table below illustrates how the cost of care differs throughout the UK, based on location and care types.
|Region||Residential Care Costs Per Week||Nursing Care Costs Per Week||Residential Dementia Care Costs Per Week||Nursing Dementia Care Costs Per Week||Respite Care Costs Per Week|
|East of England||£929||£1,053||£972||£1,082||£960|
|North East England||£830||£856||£843||£861||£852|
|North West England||£836||£941||£864||£951||£909|
|South East England||£1,040||£1,157||£1,078||£1,177||£1,099|
|South West England||£1,015||£1,118||£1,047||£1,135||£1,061|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||£830||£933||£844||£922||£861|
Here, our internal data has been combined with local authority funded fees to bring you care home costs throughout the UK.
In the UK, the average cost of residential care is £928 per week and £4,021 per month.
Residential care costs typically cover a basic standard of care, including help with daily tasks like washing, dressing and assisting residents with medication.
In the UK, the average cost of nursing care is £1,025 per week and £4,442 per month.
Nursing care homes are generally more expensive, as they provide round-the-clock care for residents who may have complex health conditions. These types of care homes also provide personal care - but there will always be at least one qualified nurse on duty.
In the UK, the average cost of nursing dementia care is £1,037 per week and £4,494 per month.
Care homes that provide specialist care, such as dementia care homes, will usually charge higher fees than both residential and nursing homes. Dementia can be complex and sometimes requires 24/7 care, and residents may need special therapy equipment to support them.
At the moment, people living with dementia in the UK have to fund the complete cost of their care, unless they have assets totalling less than £23,250.
In the UK, the average cost of residential respite care is £976 per week and £4,229 per month.
Respite care homes offer short periods of care for someone whose carer is on holiday or cannot care for them due to an emergency.
If you’re looking for temporary support, the best way to calculate the cost of care is via a financial assessment.
Below, we’ve provided the cost of privately funded care home fees throughout the different regions of the UK across residential, nursing, residential dementia, nursing dementia and residential respite care.
This information has been created using our own internal data, based on the care homes we list.
|Region||Residential Care Costs Per Week||Nursing Care Costs Per Week||Residential Dementia Care Costs Per Week||Nursing Dementia Care Costs Per Week||Respite Care Costs Per Week|
|East of England||£1,221||£1,469||£1,307||£1,528||£1,283|
|North East England||£1,037||£1,088||£1,063||£1,099||£1,081|
|North West England||£1,104||£1,316||£1,162||£1,335||£1,251|
|South East England||£1,339||£1,573||£1,415||£1,613||£1,456|
|South West England||£1,263||£1,468||£1,328||£1,503||£1,355|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||£1,054||£1,261||£1,083||£1,238||£1,117|
Private nursing care tends to be the most expensive, costing an average of £1,465 per week across the UK (or £6,348 per month), while private residential care is the least expensive, costing an average of £1,237 per week across the UK (or £5,360 a month).
The most expensive region in the UK is London. Here, private nursing fees cost an average of £1,646 per week (or £7,134 per month), while private residential care costs an average of £1,423 per week (or £6,166 per month).
Meanwhile, the UK’s least expensive region is North East England. Here, nursing care costs an average of £1,088 per week (or £4,714 per month), while private residential care costs an average of £1,037 per week (or £4,492 per month).
In Scotland, the average self-funded residential care fee is £1,341 per week and £5,812 per month, while the average self-funded nursing care fee is £1,443 per week and £6,254 per month.
Here, everyone aged 65 or over - regardless of income and assets - receives free nursing and personal care support (up to a certain limit) if they’ve been assessed by their local authority as needing it. They'll then have to contribute towards care home accommodation costs.
From 1st April 2022, the personal and nursing care payment rates are:
If your capital is below the lower limit (£20,250), the state will pay up to the following amounts:
While these are the maximum funding amounts, you may not be entitled to this much. The amount of funding you or your loved one receive will depend on the level of care needed and the fees charged by different care homes.
In Wales, the average self-funded residential care fee is £1,198 per week and £5,189, while the average self-funded nursing care fee is £1,456 per week and £6,308 per month.
Unlike other countries in the UK, Wales only has one threshold, rather than an upper and lower limit. This threshold is £50,000 (more on this later).
So, if you have less than £50,000 in capital and assets, you’ll likely be eligible for local authority funding. If you have over that amount, you’ll have to pay for care yourself.
Along with the actual care you’re provided with, care home costs include numerous other things, particularly for residents living permanently in a home.
Fees will usually also cover:
Care home costs can greatly vary, depending on what is and isn’t included in the overall fee. When choosing a home, be sure to confirm exactly what’s included.
Most care homes are transparent about all their fees - including add-onds such as chiropody appointments. However, some providers may only choose to display the basic cost of a care home. That’s why it’s important to ask about any hidden fees when you visit a home. Some people may not become fully aware of all the costs until after they’ve signed their care home contract.
Hidden fees may include:
We and our care homes are as transparent as possible with which fees are and aren’t included. For example, each of our care home listings states whether or not bills are included.
When it comes to paying for care, you have several different options:
If you have enough savings, you will be classed as a self-funder. When self funding, you'll be expected to fully fund your own care.
To arrange care as a self-funder, you can:
Your local authorities may be able to provide financial support with your care home fees. A friend or family can also offer to pay a top up fee towards the cost difference between homes, if your chosen care home is outside your budget.
To be eligible for local authority funding, the following assessments will need to be taken by the care seeker:
Care needs assessment – This will work out your care needs and the level of support required from a care home. Every care seeker has the right to a free care needs assessment. If you qualify for care funding then it’s the local authority’s legal duty to provide the appropriate care services
If you're eligible for funding assistance, the local council will calculate the total cost of care and then use a means assessment to work out how much will need to be contributed. This amount must be enough to pay the fees for at least one suitable care home.
The council will also let you know how much they’ll contribute to the cost of care and will arrange a suitable residential or nursing home to meet your or your loved one's care needs.
There are two main types of NHS funding within care homes:
If you've been assessed as having a ‘primary health need’ then NHS Continuing Healthcare provides a care package which is arranged and funded by the NHS. This package covers the full cost of care and residential accommodation.
This NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is available to adults in England who are living with intense, complex and unpredictable care needs.
You must complete an assessment by a team of healthcare professionals to determine if you’re eligible for NHS funded care - and this process can be complex. An organisation called Beacon gives free, independent advice on NHS Continuing Healthcare.
You can visit Beacon’s website or call their free helpline on 0345 548 0300.
NHS-funded nursing care is provided by the NHS to cover the nursing or medical costs for those living in a care home or nursing home. This care is administered by a registered nurse.
You or your loved one may be eligible if:
The amount you or your loved one can get each week will depend on where you live in the UK:
|Region||Rates of NHS-Funded Nursing Care|
|England||£219.71 a week at the standard rate and £302.25 at the higher rate|
|Scotland||£95.80 a week for nursing care and £212.85 a week for personal care - up to a total of £308.65 a week|
|Wales||£179.97 a week|
|Northern Ireland||£100 a week|
You should be assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare before a decision is made as to whether you’re eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care.
Here are the UK savings thresholds for 2023/2024:
|Country||Upper Threshold||Lower Threshold|
In England and Northern Ireland, if your total savings and assets are over £23,250, you must self-fund your care. If your savings are below £14,250, you’ll qualify for the maximum support from your local council. Though, you'll likely still have to use most of your weekly income from your pension, benefits or savings to make up the difference. You'll be eligible for partial support if your savings are between £14,250 and £23,250.
In Scotland, if your total savings and assets are over £32,750, you must self-fund your care. If your savings are below £20,250, you’ll qualify for the maximum support from your local council. You'll be eligible for partial support if your savings are between £32,750 and £20,250.
In Wales, if your total savings and assets are over £50,000, you must self-fund your care. There’s no lower threshold in Wales, so if you have less than this amount, you’ll be eligible for the maximum amount of support regardless.
These thresholds are due to change in England in October 2025. Under the new system, only people with savings equal to or greater than £100,000 will qualify for self-funding care.
A needs assessment is usually followed by a financial assessment which decides whether your local authority will help with paying for care fees. These assessments need to be arranged before you start looking for care homes, as this will ensure you receive any funding help you may be eligible for.
After the care needs and financial assessment, you or your loved one will be advised whether you need care or not and what funding you’re eligible for (if any).
There’s no set amount of funding support your local authority will provide towards your care. This figure varies from one local authority to another and also depends on the type of care you require.
Your local authority will provide you with a ‘personal budget’ based on your individual needs and the results of your care needs assessment and financial assessment. A personal budget is the amount of money your local authority is willing to pay towards your care costs.
If it’s determined that you require financial assistance, your local authority will suggest one or more suitable residential or nursing homes. The care home(s) they pick will depend on how much they’re willing to contribute towards your care.
Your local council must provide you with at least one affordable care home.
However, if you’re interested in a home that’s more expensive than your personal budget, a relative or close friend can make up the difference through a top-up fee. Put another way, you or somebody else will need to pay the difference between your council funding and what your chosen care home will cost.
For example, if your local council is willing to pay £600 a week towards care but your preferred home costs £800 a week, someone else will need to pay the other £200 of weekly care fees.
From October 2025, the Government will introduce a new £86,000 cap on the amount people in England will need to spend on their personal care. This care cap aims to prevent people from having all their assets used up by care home costs.
When someone is above the savings threshold and self-funds their care, they won’t have to spend more than £86,000 on personal care across their lifetime.
The £86,000 fee cap covers residential care, nursing care and similar support. It also applies to domiciliary care. From october 2025, the social care charging reform means the Government will cover personal care costs beyond £86,000. However, this cap doesn’t include paying for accommodation, energy bills, food and other facilities within a care home. So, families or anybody else self-funding care will continue paying for these things past £86,000.
Put simply, the Government will cover any care-specific costs beyond £86,000, but not other costs such as accommodation and energy bills.
Currently, only people with assets (including property) under £23,250 qualify for full financial support from their local authority. Under this new system starting in October 2025, the threshold will increase to £100,000 (so many more people will qualify for financial assistance).
For many people, if they aren’t eligible for local authority help (because their savings and assets are above the threshold), they’ll only have to cover the full cost of care until what they’ve paid goes over £86,000.
For example, if you were paying £2,000 a month for personal care in a care home, you’d hit the £86,000 cap within 43 months (or just under four years).
This depends on how much is in your savings and how you intend to pay for your care and fees.
When you apply for care, your means test will work out how much of your care you’re able to pay for and whether any financial assistance is needed.
You don’t have to sell your home if you’re receiving care and support at home or if you’re applying for short-term care. If you’re applying for permanent care, you won’t have to sell your house if it’s still occupied by a partner, or in certain circumstances, a child, a relative over the age of 60 or a relative who is classed as being disabled.
If there will be no one living in your home once you go into care, you may need to sell it to help cover your care home fees. However, there are circumstances where the value of your house isn’t included in the financial means test, such as the Equity Release scheme.
The Equity Release policy is for people over 55. It gives you a way to access the value tied up in a property and turn it into a cash lump sum, without having to sell your house.
There are plenty of online tools available that can help give you an idea of how much money you could receive from using this scheme.
However, be advised that Equity Release policies can be costly to get wrong, so we recommend you speak to a financial advisor before making any decisions.
Rather than negotiating fees, some care home providers offer discounts for certain types of care, including respite care. Often, you'll find these at many new care homes.
Use our handy care home search tool to find local care homes, or use one of the popular location links below to discover some fantastic care homes in your area:
Source: All care home data used in this article is based on Lottie's internal analysis. If you'd like to use this data, please credit us as the source.
Our research shows that annual residential care home fees are around £48,000, while nursing care costs around £53,000 per year. Weekly, this is around £900 to £950 per week for residential care, and £1,000 to £1,050 a week for nursing care.
If you live in England and received NHS continuing healthcare, you’ll be eligible for up to six weeks of free care after leaving the hospital. These six weeks of free care can be given in a care home or at home. The goal is to prevent you from having to go back to the hospital.
The Government has introduced an £86,000 cap on care. This cap is the maximum amount anybody in England will need to spend on their care. Even if you self-fund care, £86,000 will be the most you’ll spend on care across your lifetime.
This £86,000 cap includes residential, nursing and personal care, but doesn’t include things like food, accommodation and energy bills. This care cap is expected to be introduced in October 2025.
In England and Northern Ireland, if you have less than £23,250 in savings and assets, you may be eligible for your local council to pay towards some of your care costs. If you have less than £14,250, you’ll be eligible for maximum support.
Your local council will carry out a means test to determine your eligibility for help with these costs. If eligible, your council will then allocate a certain amount of funds towards your care. These funds must be high enough to cover the cost of at least one appropriate care home.
The maximum amount of support available may differ from council to council.
Written by our team of experts and designed to help families fund later life care in England.