Care home - extra costs question


Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
Hello everyone. I've been reading this board for quite long time now & want you to know that is has been a great source of comfort and information since my Dad became ill some four years ago.

I wondered if you could help with advice about the latest (!) quandary we find ourselves in.

My dad is in the middle of a "trial period" for a care home in Scotland and my mum (who is paying for his care at this stage) has just been told that on top of the huge fees, they want her to set up a direct debit of "about £50/£60 per month" for things like haircuts etc. I wanted to know what other experience board members had - is my mum being ripped off? Does she have to pay this? Any input would be most appreciated!


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello itsmal

we have members who know the system in Scotland and they will probably reply.

My Jan is in a care home in England, and the additional costs for her are:

- hairdressing [every 6-8 weeks]
- foot care [every few months]
- shower gels, shampoos, toothpaste, deodorant, etc

I also buy new clothing, furniture etc.

£50-£60 per month sounds pricey and I'd be asking them for a sample list of things they would use that money for.


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007

My Mum is in a care home in Scotland and the staff there ask us for a cheque for about £120 when her balance reaches in the twenties. It used to be when the balance went into the red but the care commission doesn't like this as it technically means as the funds are kept in one residents' account that Mum is spending some one else's money. Mum's top up generally happens about once every 3-4 months (sometimes as much as 6 months these days) so I think the direct debit of £50-60 per month is a lot.

It does depend upon what your Dad is getting though. Mum used to run through hers far faster when she was getting newspapers and magazines still. She probably gets her hair done professionally every 2-3 weeks when well but the shampoo and set only costs about £7 up to about £15 or so I think for a perm.

She uses the trolley for shampoo and stuff but there is never a lot on the account for toiletries. If your Mum is taking them in for your Dad this may not matter.

I think that I would be asking for prices etc. before allowing a direct debit to be set up for an amount of this size. It is a sizeable chunk for most pensioners to pay. I would also see if you can check whether your parents are entitled for any additional funding as it may be that if they are not getting either a personal care/nursing care element that they should apply for attendance allowance.



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Itsmal

John has just gone into a care home in Scotland, and he doesn't have to pay this. They said I could leave money in the office to pay for haircuts, toiletries, etc, or just pay for them myself. He can't read, so doesn't need newspapers, the haircut is only £3, and I make sure he has a supply of toiletries. I've told them to let me know if he's short of anything.

I wonder if you've gone through social services for the fees? I was surprised how much help there was available (we're self-funding) in Scotland. The LA has the contract with the home, which means they only pay their maximum, and the home can't keep putting up the fees, or charge top-ups. I pay the council the fees less £210 for personal care and EMI. If you haven't got a similar arrangement, I'd ask your SW about it, and I certainly wouldn't sign anything without clarifying the finances. I wouldn't hand anyone a blank cheque!

Welcome to TP, by the way.


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Itsmal

Jeepers, that sounds an awful lot for a haircut!!

I'm in Wales, with mum in a local NH, self funding, and the only additional cost is her shampoo and set every week, £5:50!!

I buy all her incidental stuff for her, soap, toothpaste etc., and clothing.

I think I would be asking for a breakdown.




Registered User
Jul 3, 2007
Hi Itsmal

At my Mum's care home I leave money at the office that is used to cover incidental costs which includes paying the hairdresser (£5 a time). They have a small shop and if Mum bought anything they would use the money for that as well.

Mum gets free chiropody as part of the general service they provide.

Hope that helps

Liz x

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
I've not yet worked out what the Home provides, and what I provide. Mum usually has about £20 in her purse, which does a hairset every fortnight, and last week she paid £5 to have her toe nails cut. I did her fingernails. No-one seems to bother about these things. When I went on Tuesday, she had no soap, despite me taking a bar in the previous week, her Oil of Ulay had disappeared, as had her toothpaste - and brush!

I wonder what happens to those residents with no relatives close by?



Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi itsmal,

My father-in-law is not in care so I can't offer any first-hand advice.

There is a bit of interesting info on the following factsheet:

in particular:

Before the move to the home takes place, check what the fees cover so that there can be no misunderstandings with the local authority or the home about any 'extras'.

The person will be expected to contribute all of their income towards the fees, with a few exceptions, apart from a personal expenses allowance of £19.60 a week, which they can spend how they choose. These figures apply for the financial year April 2007-2008.
That figure of £19.60 is interesting as it would have to be used to buy all of the individual's personal effects - clothes, food and drink treats, CD's/DVD's and services not covered by the NHS. Handing over the majority of that sum to the care home would leave someone with very little personal spending money.

Take care,



Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
Thank you all for your posts. I certainly feel that £50 - £60 a month is a pretty outrageous amount to ask for haircuts toiletries & pedicure. I think my Mum is going to ask them for a breakdown of this amount.


Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire

My parent's are in a care home in Scotland and I receive an invoice every month, 2weeks in arrears and 2 weeks in advance, detailing the normal care home costs, and other costs, eg hairdresser etc,

This amount is taken by direct debit every month.
I take in all their toiletries and the carer's let me know when they are running low on things, or I just observe.

I think a direct debit of £50 - £60 per month is excessive and I would definately be wanting a breakdown of how they can justify this amount

I would also be questioning the missing toiletries, but maybe your Mum has given them away, I know my Mum did that.

Take care