• S Wilkins

What is the difference between home help and home care?

Often, the two phrases home care and home help are used interchangeably but when we use these phrases in reference to the elderly and disabled there are some key differences.

Personal Care

Personal care is when an elderly or disabled person is assisted with personal everyday tasks such as dressing, washing, and toileting.

Personal Care

These tasks are normally carried out by Home Carers. This is because a person and/company delivering personal care must be registered with the Care Quality Commission and must be insured and trained appropriately to carry out such tasks. People normally receive personal care at home or in a care home setting and it is usually because they are physically unable to do it for themselves.


Home care is often carried out at a persons home or within a residential care setting whereas home help is not just restricted to a clients home but can be utilised in the community.

Home help can be used in a variety of ways to assist a person with daily tasks. Often it can include housekeeping and cleaning, food preparation, companionship, running errands, assistance to go shopping and even to social events, day trips and medical appointments. It can be used as an alternative to home care when a person is still physically able to attend to their personal care themselves or if they can't it can be used in conjunction with personal care which is provided by a home carer or agency.


The cost of using home care or home help services can vary greatly, with the difference in hourly rate being as much as £8 - £10.

How much does home care or home help cost?

On average, the cost of home care in the UK is around £18 - £20 per hour, sometimes more. This is because Home Carers and Agency's require a higher level of insurance than Home Help services due to the type of care they offer (i.e. Nursing and Personal Care). So whether you require 30 minutes of personal care and 3 hours of home help the rate is generally the same - it would cost you around £63.00 - £70.00. If you were to use home care in conjunction with a home help service you could be paying up to £18.00 less as the average cost of Home Help is around £12 - £14 per hour.

There is also generally a lot more flexibility with Home Help. Unlike a Home Care Agency, you are unlikely to be tied into a contract where you are committed to having the same amount of hours every week. Home Help Services can normally be provided on a pay as you go basis allowing services to be adapted depending on a persons level of need.

Home Care or Home Help - which one do I choose?

The choice you make depends on need . Do you need personal care? If so, then a Home Carer or Agency would be the right choice for most as they are able to provide staff who are qualified and insured to carry out personal care. Even so, this does not mean you need use them for all of your care and support needs. You could chose the cost effective option of using an Agency or Carer in conjunction with using a Home Help Service.

Home Help Services are vital for a lot of people, they are used by people who have disabilities, mobility problems, the elderly, carers who require assistance, busy families the list goes on. This is because this type of service offers choice, flexibility and affordability

The Home Help Group - Home help, for everyone.


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