Alternative to Care Homes | The Good Care Group

Alternative to care homes

When a loved one is facing challenges with mobility issues, frailty, or conditions like dementia or Parkinson’s, many people assume the only solution is uprooting their loved ones to a residential or nursing home. However, there are many real alternatives to care homes worth exploring that allow your loved ones to receive the care they need in the comfort of home.

What are the alternatives to care homes?

Home care is fast becoming a preferred alternative to care homes. According to a survey conducted by the Live-In Care Hub in 2017, 97% of people surveyed would choose to stay at home to get the care they need.

When it comes to receiving care, there are many choices available beyond residential care, tailored to individual needs, preferences, and financial circumstances. Here, we explore various options for in-home care as alternatives to traditional residential or nursing homes.

Alternative to care homes

Live-in care – the best care home alternative

A live-in carer provides round-the-clock care, companionship and support so the person they care for can live a better quality of life, in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

What is live-in care?

An expert, professional and compassionate carer will move into the client’s home to provide one-to-one care and support around the clock, giving them peace of mind and reassurance that they are receiving the highest quality care.

How does it work?

A live-in care arrangement usually involves two carers providing care working on a two-week rota pattern. They will be carefully matched working with the individual and their family to ensure they are able to meet not just their care and support needs, but are closely aligned with how they wish to live their life, sharing common interests and backgrounds.

The carer who comes and lives in the client’s home will provide a highly personalised plan of care. This comprehensive care plan will be created with input from not just the person receiving care, but with vital input from family members and other healthcare professionals involved in their care.

This plan will cover not just your care needs, but the individual’s choices on how they live their life, their preferences and the social and emotional support they require. It is a holistic approach that is focused on enhancing health and well-being, whilst improving overall quality of life.

The benefits of live-in care

  • One-to-one care and support around the clock – this level of personalised care is difficult to achieve in even the best residential settings.
  • A uniquely developed, highly personalised plan of care designed to meet care needs whilst addressing how the individual wishes to live their life – none of the rigid timetables or set routines experienced in a care home.
  • Specialist and complex care provided by highly trained carers. Familiar surroundings and routines are paramount in helping those living with specialist conditions, like dementia or Parkinson’s.
  • No need to move out of their much-loved home, with all the upset and disruption that brings. The family home can then be kept in the family, instead of being sold to fund care home fees.
  • Staying at home means keeping control over your life, with all your treasured memories and possessions around you.
  • Individuals can keep their pets while their carer supports looking after them.
  • Considerable and proven benefits to overall health and well-being, including fewer falls, infections and unnecessary hospital admissions.
  • Couples can stay together as a loving couple, whilst receiving individual care plans. Couples may be split up to be cared for in different areas of a care home.

Limitations of live-in care

  • Like with anything new, there will be a period of adjustment when the carer comes to your home. A good quality company will ensure the individual is matched with a carer who not only has the skills to provide the care they need but with someone who shares common interests so they feel as comfortable as possible with the new addition to their home.
  • The carer will need to have a spare room. This private space is essential for the carer to have privacy, complete their care records and rest so that they can provide the highest quality of care. The room must have a television and internet access.

Live-in care vs residential care homes

Live-in home care Residential home care
One-to-one care delivered by the same carer that you can form a relationship with.


A uniquely developed, highly personalised plan of care designed to meet your needs whilst addressing how you wish to live your life.


Couples home care available for two people who require support and want to stay at home.


Improved health outcomes – fewer falls, lower rates of infection and hospital admissions.


Carer can cook for you or with you if you prefer. You can also choose what you’d like to eat.


No need to move out of your much-loved home, with all the upset and disruption that brings. The family home can then be kept in the family, instead of being sold to fund care home fees.


Domiciliary care – visiting care at home

Domiciliary care, also known as hourly or visiting care, involves carers visiting clients at their homes on a regular basis to provide assistance with various daily tasks and personal care needs.

What is domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care is when a professional and compassionate carer visits the client within the comfort and familiarity of their own home. Personalised one-to-one care and support tailored to the client’s specific needs allow them to maintain their independence and dignity while receiving the highest quality care.

How does it work?

In domiciliary care, a dedicated carer works closely with the client and their family to provide care and support on a schedule that suits the client’s lifestyle. Unlike live-in care, where carers reside in the home, domiciliary care involves scheduled visits from carers who provide assistance with daily tasks, medication management, companionship, and more.

Carers are carefully matched with the client based on their preferences and needs, ensuring that they not only meet the client’s care requirements but also share common interests and values, fostering a supportive and enriching relationship.

Domiciliary care is suitable for those with low to medium needs and for people who do not need round-the-clock care.

Benefits of domiciliary care

  • Daily care and support provided as and when you need it.
  • Maintain your independence and routines without leaving your home.
  • Provide respite for primary carers, allowing them to take necessary breaks and recharge while ensuring you receive expert care.

Limitations of domiciliary care

  • Complex care needs may require additional support beyond the scope of hourly care visits.
  • Family members may still need to be involved in providing care depending on a person’s needs at other times throughout the day.

Other alternatives to care homes

While we firmly advocate for live-in care as the best alternative to care homes, we recognise that different individuals have unique preferences and needs. Here are some alternative options to consider:

  • Moving in with family: Living with a relative offers companionship and assistance with daily routines, providing a familial environment for care and support.
  • Sheltered housing: In sheltered housing, individuals can purchase or rent a small apartment within a supervised block, offering a balance of independence and support.
  • Retirement villages: Designed specifically for elderly care, retirement villages provide housing developments supervised by an on-site warden, fostering a community-oriented approach to care and support.

While each of these alternatives has its merits, live-in care stands out for its ability to offer dedicated one-to-one support while allowing individuals to retain their independence within the comfort of their own home.

Home care vs residential care: Cost differences

Live-in care costs are often comparable to or less than residential care home costs, with the added benefit of receiving one-to-one care. Care homes may charge more specialist services like nursing care, whilst live-in care fees focus solely on the quality of support received.

With domiciliary care, you only pay for the care you need, when you need it, and not the room and board of a residential care home.

For couples, live-in care is particularly cost-effective. Unlike care homes, where charges double for two bedrooms, live-in care incurs only a nominal cost for two individuals receiving care at the same address.

When considering live-in care, it’s essential to assess the level of care required. Contact our care advisors at 0203 728 7577 for a comprehensive assessment of needs and associated costs.

The quality of the care provided

  • Direct employment and training of carers for high-quality care provision.
  • Management structure, with fully managed services often commanding higher fees but offering round-the-clock support.
  • Specialised care options, such as nurse-led care or input from occupational therapists, may increase weekly fees.
  • Measurement and improvement of health outcomes, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance.
  • Integration of technology for enhanced care monitoring and family involvement.

Talk to us about your live-in care needs

Find out more about the compelling benefits of live-in care as an alternative to a care home – call us today. We will help you every step of the way.

0203 728 7577

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