The Real Cost of Care

Hiring self-employed carers through Gladys offers a financially savvy and personalised alternative to the high costs of traditional UK care.

When it comes to finding care for us or our loved ones, navigating the myriad of options available can be daunting. In the UK, where the demand for personalised care is on the rise, understanding the costs involved in hiring carers is crucial. Whether it's through an agency, employing a self-employed carer, or opting for a care home, the choices are many. However, not all options are created equal, and that's where Gladys steps in – offering a unique solution that not only empowers those in need of care but also the carers themselves.

The Cost Landscape

Understanding the financial implications of each care option is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your needs and budget. Here's how the costs stack up:

Hiring Through an Agency
  • Cost Range: Agency care costs can vary significantly but on average are around 27.50 per hour for home care services. This rate can increase for specialised care or during weekends and holidays.
  • Additional Fees: Agencies often charge extra for managing the care plan, emergency callouts, and short-notice requests, which can add to the overall cost.
  • Considerations: While agencies provide vetted carers and handle administrative tasks, the higher costs reflect their overheads and profit margins. This option may offer peace of mind but at a premium.
Opting for a Care Home
  • Average Cost: The cost of care homes can vary widely depending on the location, facilities, and level of care required. On average, residential care homes cost about £600 to £800 per week, while nursing homes with medical care can cost upwards of £800 to £1,200 per week.
  • Long-Term Implications: Care home costs are comprehensive, covering accommodation, meals, and care. However, they represent a significant long-term financial commitment and may not be the preferred choice for those seeking care in their own home.
Choosing a Self-Employed Carer
  • Average Cost: Hiring a self-employed carer through Gladys, for example, can cost around £20 per hour.
  • Direct Employment Advantages: This option eliminates agency fees, allowing more of the budget to go directly to the carer's wages. It not only ensures fair compensation for the carer but also can result in more dedicated and personalised care.
  • Flexibility and Control: Clients have the flexibility to negotiate rates, hours, and specific care needs directly with the carer, potentially leading to cost savings and a care plan tailored precisely to the client's requirements
Care Option Cost Range Considerations
Agency Care £30 per hour (Avg.) Higher costs for vetting and administration.
Care Home £600 - £1,200/week Inclusive but expensive.
Self-Employed Carer £20 (Avg.) More budget goes to carers; personalised care.

Care Home Costs Across The Nation

The table below presents a comprehensive overview of care costs across various regions in the UK, highlighting significant variations based on the type of care and location. For instance, London exhibits the highest weekly costs across all categories, with residential care at £1,118, nursing care at £1,230, residential dementia care at £1,165, nursing dementia care at £1,282, and respite care at £1,191, reflecting the premium associated with living and care services in the capital. In contrast, regions like the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber show more moderate costs, with residential care costs starting from £830 per week. The data across England, Scotland, and Wales also reveals an average cost, indicating that specialised care, particularly for conditions like dementia, commands a higher price. Overall, the table underscores the financial implications of choosing care services in different parts of the UK, with costs significantly influenced by the care type and geographical location.

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 Midlands £839 £935 £859 £898 £864
East of England £929 £1,053 £972 £1,082 £960
London £1,118 £1,230 £1,165 £1,282 £1,191
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
West Midlands £901 £995 £914 £1,000 £943
Yorkshire and the Humber £830 £933 £844 £922 £861
England £926 £1,024 £954 £1,034 £971
Scotland £974 £1,025 £983 £1,009 £1,031
Wales £903 £1,032 £958 £1,096 £975
UK £928 £1,025 £957 £1,037 £976

The table below details care home costs across various UK regions, with annual expenses soaring to £90,423 in areas like Edinburgh, starkly outlines the steep financial implications of residential care. In contrast, employing self-employed carers directly through platforms like Gladys, at an average cost of £20 per hour, offers a markedly more cost-effective solution. Assuming a scenario where 40 hours of care per week are required, the annual expenditure would be around £41,600. This calculation reveals significant potential savings, particularly in regions where care home fees are at their peak. Opting for a self-employed carer through Gladys not only substantially reduces financial burdens but also ensures more personalised, flexible care tailored to specific needs, highlighting a financially viable and qualitatively advantageous alternative to conventional care home placements.

Rank Region Cost per Week (£) Cost per Year (£)
1 Edinburgh £1,739 £90,423
2 Midlothian £1,632 £84,864
3 East Lothian £1,529 £79,482
4 Aberdeenshire £1,509 £78,463
5 Stirling £1,503 £78,141
6 Berkshire £1,431 £74,388
7 Buckinghamshire £1,425 £74,102
8 Fife £1,410 £73,329
9 Surrey £1,391 £72,307
10 London £1,382 £71,883

Opting for self-employed carers through Gladys offers a compelling financial advantage, with potential savings of nearly £50,000 annually compared to the highest regional care home costs, such as those observed in Edinburgh. These savings highlight a significant opportunity for families to more efficiently manage care expenses whilst still providing high-quality, personalised care for their loved ones. The flexibility and personalisation offered through Gladys not only result in direct monetary savings but also improve the overall care experience, combining cost efficiency with superior care quality. This approach alleviates the economic pressure associated with traditional care options and redefines the caregiving paradigm to focus on individual needs and preferences, making it an optimal choice for those seeking both financial and care quality benefits.

Why choose Gladys?

Why Choose Gladys?

Gladys stands out by connecting self-employed carers with clients directly, fostering personal connections and ensuring fair wages. This approach is not only cost-effective but also allows for tailored care solutions, offering flexibility and control over care arrangements.

The Self-Employed Carer Advantage

Gladys highlights the benefits of direct engagement between clients and carers, emphasizing the importance of choice, personalisation, and mutual respect in the caregiving relationship.


The choice of care option impacts both cost and the quality of care. While agencies and care homes offer their own advantages, self-employed carers through Gladys provide a balanced solution that supports fair compensation and close, personal care relationships, addressing the broader care crisis with a flexible, equitable approach.

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Alex Sorisi
Feb 15, 2024
8 min read