Sharing your home as a Carer

Many people find themselves when caring for someone who lives nearby, whether a close friend or family member, considering moving that person into their own home for various reasons. It might be because the person's care needs have become greater or, for example, they've just been released from hospital and initially need greater attention before they're able to live independently again.

This can be a very positive experience because not only are you able to spend more time with that person but also because both of you can benefit knowing that the person you're caring for won't have to cope on their own.

You must, of course, think carefully about doing this, particularly if your relationship has gone through a rocky patch previously, because sharing a home can naturally test friendships.

Need Advice?

Call the NHS Carers Direct helpline - 0300 123 1053


What are the financial and legal implications of offering care at home?

As you must be aware, offering to care for someone in your own home has many financial and legal implications, and this is particularly the case when the person has sold their house to move in with you and is contributing towards the costs of your home.

The main benefit you can claim from the Government as a carer is called Carer's Allowance. You might be able to claim this if you are looking after someone for more than 35 hours every week.

NB You cannot normally claim Carer's Allowance if you yourself have reached retirement age and are receiving your State Pension.

Click to find out more about Carer's Allowance

How can you clearly set down rights and responsibilities?

There's no denying that living with anyone can be a challenge and it's becoming increasingly common for people to want to draw up a written agreement before they start which considers matters such as who'll pay the bills etc. You should take legal advice about this.

You can consult the Citizens Advice website for information about this or call us on 0333 344 3234.

If it's you that is doing the moving into the home of the person you're caring for, you should tell your local council about your change in circumstance if you are in receipt of any benefits.

What about if the person you're caring about wants to transfer their home to you?

There are a number of ways someone can gift you their home but once again, there are practical and legal implications you must consider, particularly concerning inheritance tax.

For more information about this matter please view this article on transferring property in Which? magazine.

Will your house need adapting to accommodate properly the person moving in?

Depending on the level of disability of the person you're intending to care for in your own home, you might need to carry out some adaptations, such as installing a stair lift.

Click to view the NHS's guide to equipment, aids and adaptations and which ones grants are available for.

You need to think carefully about how things are likely to pan out. The person you're intending to look after might need more care in future. You should also consider matters of privacy etc.

What other options are there?

Anyone needing care might be able to carry on living in their own home - and might prefer to do so - and they can get a care assessment to see if they qualify for assistance from social services.

If the person has difficulty living on their own, they might wish to consider one of the following:

  • Sheltered or retirement housing
  • Housing with care (extra care housing)
  • Care homes