How much are care home costs in Northern Ireland?

Care home costs in Northern Ireland 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.

The table below gives a breakdown of average weekly residential and nursing care home fees for Northern Ireland*:

Average weekly care home costs in Northern Ireland

(2016-2017 research by LaingBuisson)

RegionNursing care homeResidential care home

* LaingBuisson for its Care of Older People UK market report, 29th edition, published May 2018


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

The first step to finding out care home costs in Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland.


Frequently asked questions

How much do residential care homes and nursing homes in Northern Ireland cost?
The average care home cost in Northern Ireland is £519 per week for residential homes, and £669 per week for nursing homes (as reported by LaingBuisson).

Is funding available to help with the costs of care homes in Northern Ireland?
Council funding for care home accommodation is linked to a person’s income, capital and savings. If you have more than £23,250 in assets, including home ownership, you’ll be expected to self-fund, otherwise you may still need to contribute to the costs.

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

Last updated 10 September 2020


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