How much are care home costs in Scotland?

Care home costs in Scotland will depend on whether it is a residential care home or a nursing home.

A residential care home only has care staff, so it is appropriate for people who need assistance with their daily activities such as washing, dressing and meal preparation.

A nursing home is very like a residential care home, but the main difference is there are always trained nurses on duty for anyone who has an ongoing nursing/medical requirement.

After the care needs assessment, the council will also undertake a financial assessment to determine your eligibility for public funding.


Average weekly care home costs in Scotland
Region Nursing care home Residential care home
Scotland £845 £671

(from LaingBuisson’s ‘Care Homes for Older People’ UK market report, 30th edition, published December 2019 – based on single occupancy of a room, in a for-profit care home in 2018/2019)

Find care home costs in your area

Use our free care home search tool to find a care home near you – you can specify if you need nursing or residential care.

What is the first step to knowing how much care in Scotland will cost?

The first step to finding out care home costs in Scotland is to ask for a care needs assessment from the adult social services department of your local authority.

There is no cost for a care needs assessment. A care needs assessment may be carried out online, over the telephone, or face to face and the results will include recommendations about whether care is needed, and if so, what type of care.

The care needs assessment will also help identify whether your needs require the support of specialist nurses in a nursing care home, or if your needs can be managed in a residential care home without dedicated nursing support.

Regardless of your financial status, you must arrange a needs assessment through your council’s social work department before contracting with any care service providers. Failure to do so may jeopardise your eligibility for care funding, and possibly delay admission into a care home.

If a care home is needed, you can then start to look at the cost of care homes and how you will pay for this.

If you can continue to live at home, we can also help you understand the cost of domiciliary care (care in your own home) providers in Scotland.


Frequently asked questions

Are care homes free in Scotland?

Unfortunately staying at a care home in Scotland is not free, however depending on your specific situation there is funding available to help support the costs. It is recommended to seek financial support to discuss the options available to you.

How much do residential care homes and nursing homes in Scotland cost?

The average care home cost in Scotland is £674 per week for residential homes, and £823 per week for a nursing homes (2016-2017 research by LaingBuisson).

Is funding available to help with the costs of care homes in Scotland?

Council funding for care home accommodation is linked to a person’s income, capital and savings. If you have more than £32,750 in assets, including home ownership, the local authority will not fund your accommodation costs. 

Is nursing care and personal care in Scotland free?

Regardless of your financial status you may be able to access council funding for free nursing and/or personal care in Scotland. However, you must first request a care needs assessment, otherwise you may lose out on any potential funding support.

Do you have to sell your house to pay care home costs in Scotland?

Depending on your financial position you may need to sell your home to pay care home costs. However, there are circumstances where your house would not be included in the financial assessment, so it is recommended to always seek financial advice.

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