Elderly Care Costs

As a society we can all agree that our capacity to care for older people and to ensure a high quality of life at every age can be considered one of our proudest achievements, but few are aware of the planning, effort and expenditure which goes into providing this care. Examining the specifics and working out exactly how that expenditure breaks down can be helpful in understanding the costs of running a care home, and everything that goes into providing award-winning elderly care.

Care Home Staffing and Long Term Care Costs

Staffing costs account for between 40% and 60% of a care home’s outgoings. These include care, catering, cleaning, laundry, management, administration and reception staff. As we might expect, pay is dependent on experience and the best-qualified, most dedicated carers are highly valued and can be expensive to retain. It’s not just training which makes for a good carer; those who excel in the professional do so in part through the strength of their personality. It takes a naturally caring, energetic and highly committed individual to deliver high-quality care, and the best carers are those who are always willing to give a little extra for the comfort and enjoyment of their residents. Depending on the level of care delivered, staff can be required on as much as a 1:1 ratio, each resident being supported by a carer. All of the other requirements of an employer factor in, such as holiday and sick pay and employer’s National Insurance and pension contributions.

Other costs include utilities, food and catering, registration fees and maintenance, entertainment, planning and delivery of activities and a whole host of other outgoings. There is a lot of variance within most of these areas, as a basic catering offering would obviously cost a fraction of the price of a restaurant-standard offering which presents much choice in terms of menu and venue. Staffing is important here too, as the best chefs and cooks often possess decades of carefully-honed experience and expect to earn fair remuneration for their services, which are universally in demand. The level of attention paid to individual needs and preferences is also significant, as a more generic offering would prove cheaper, while an approach which considers specific dietary requirements (such as Signature’s dysphagia-friendly food program), and personal preferences with sensitivity will be more expensive.

If extensive programmes of activities are offered, both staffing and other costs are likely to be higher due to the cost of instructors to deliver classes, equipment and sometimes additional insurance. There can also be transport costs to assist residents in accessing off-site activities and services.

Care Home Building Costs

But all of these costs are only manifest once a care home is already running. Many care homes are housed in repurposed buildings and make do with the facilities and accommodation which are already available with either minimal or extensive upgrades. Only purpose-built care homes like Signature’s, however, can deliver the highest standard of care in an optimal environment.

Permitted land in a desirable location is at a premium, especially on a relatively crowded island like the UK, where housing costs are already very high and good land for development is scarce. After clearing planning permission, surveying and assessment are necessary to ensure the build is ready to go ahead. Architects and building planners, as well as regulatory experts, must all be involved before groundbreaking, and depending on the intended build quality, the material costs before any labour is done can be very substantial.

Sound foundations and structure, typically requiring extensive reinforcement and insulation, cutting-edge interiors and fixtures like windows and staircases see costs stack up before the building is even habitable. Teams of certified electricians and plumbers are necessary to give the building the infrastructure its residents will require, and all of this work must be approved and signed off by relevant bodies. Once the building is habitable, care and attention must be paid to decoration and fittings to ensure an environment which is appropriate and enjoyable to its residents. The costs of providing award-winning care are substantial, and each year new considerations arise as further optimisation and improvement occurs. The value of all of this planning and preparation, however, of the skills and experience of the staff and the superior propriety of a purpose-build environment to its purpose, is undeniable. Best-in-class care requires dedication and expenditure, and when it’s done right, every element of the process can be brought to bear to ensure that all residents enjoy top-quality assisted living care in luxurious, ideal environments.

We would love to show you how all this work results in superb, purpose-built , luxury care accommodation.  Book a visit to see one of our beautiful homes and find out more!