Live in Care Vs Care Homes | Benefits & Limitations

Live in care vs care home

Choosing the right care provider can be a difficult process for many families. After coming to the realisation that an older adult requires assistance with the day-to-day tasks of living, many people believe that care homes are the only suitable solution for receiving the dedicated care they need.

This is no longer the case, as live-in care provides a viable alternative that is often preferable for many older adults. Through the help of a competent and compassionate carer, older adults can receive the one-to-one care and support they need to live independently without leaving their treasured homes.

Here we discuss the benefits and disadvantages of both live-in care and care homes to help you make an informed decision.

What is residential care?

To receive residential care, an individual must leave their treasured home and move into long-term accommodation, often referred to as a care home. In most care homes, residents will have their own private bedroom and bathroom while sharing access to communal spaces.

There are many types of care homes and while each provides a safe and secure place for older adults to stay, the facilities, services and care provided can vary greatly between homes.

What is live-in care?

Live-in care is when a professional carer moves directly into the client’s home to provide them with round-the-clock care, companionship and support so that they can enjoy a better quality of life. The duties performed by a live-in carer can range from providing discreet and sensitive personal care to performing light domestic chores or looking after pets.

The primary role of a live-in carer is to enable the person requiring care to continue to enjoy a secure, comfortable and independent life within the familiar surroundings of their own home.

Care homes vs live-in care

Care homesLive-in care
Level of care Nurses and other trained staff are always on hand to provide assistance but can not always provide one-to-one care. One-to-one care and support around the clock – something that is difficult to achieve in a care home setting
Location of the care You must leave your treasured home and move into an unfamiliar setting. This can be especially distressing for people living with dementia. There is no need to leave your much-loved home and all its treasured possessions and face the potential uncertainty and upheaval of moving into a care home.
Availability of care Residential care is often restricted by availability so you may face limited care home options.Through a registered care agency, you never have to worry about finding a competent carer or the hiring process.
Care for complex conditions Not all care homes are equipped to provide specialist care for complex conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis. Specialist and complex care provided by highly-trained carers delivered in the comfort of your own home. Familiar surroundings and routines are paramount in helping those living with specialist conditions, like dementia.
Independence Although some people appreciate the structured environment that care homes provide, other older adults that are used to living independently at home may find it stifling.A carer will help you with the day-to-day tasks of living while encouraging you to accomplish as much as you wish for yourself.
Routines There are set meal times, wake up and bed times (sometimes as early as 5am) which removes choice and autonomy.You will receive a highly personalised plan of care designed to meet your care needs whilst addressing how you wish to live your life – none of the rigid timetables or set routines experienced in a care home.
Care for couples There are very few care homes that offer double bedroom accommodation for couples especially if one of you has a diagnosis of dementia, so you are unlikely to be able to share the same living space.Couples who require care can stay together as a loving couple, as opposed to being split up to be cared for in different areas of a care home.
Community connection Living elsewhere may mean you lose links to your local community that you have always treasuredYou can continue to be part of the local community you love amongst your friends and neighbours.
Pets Care homes rarely allow you to bring your pets You can continue to live with your beloved pets and your carer will help look after them

Care home vs live-in care: cost comparison

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.

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.

At The Good Care Group, our inclusive weekly fee includes all of the following:

  • A live-in care package completely tailored to your unique care needs
  • A fully managed service where we manage and pay your care team
  • Carefully matched and highly skilled carers for you to choose from
  • Unrivalled expertise in complex medical conditions
  • 24/7 access to emergency support and expert advice
  • Access to free family education events and support programmes

Deciding on the best option

When it comes to making the decision between live-in care and a care home for yourself or a loved one, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure the best possible outcome.

  1. Assess individual needs: Start by evaluating the specific care needs of the person in question. Consider factors such as mobility, medical conditions, cognitive abilities, and personal preferences. Live-in care offers personalised one-on-one support tailored to individual needs, while a care home provides access to round-the-clock care in a communal setting.
  2. Consider quality of life: Think about the quality of life that each option offers. Live-in care allows individuals to remain in the comfort of their own home, maintaining familiarity with their surroundings and retaining a sense of independence. On the other hand, care homes offer a supportive community environment with access to social activities and companionship.
  3. Evaluate cost and budget: Care costs can vary significantly between live-in care and care homes. Consider your financial situation and budget constraints when weighing the options. While live-in care may involve higher upfront costs, it can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to ongoing care home fees.
  4. Review family dynamics: Take into account the preferences and involvement of family members in the decision-making process. Some families may prefer the convenience and peace of mind of live-in care, while others may feel reassured by the supervision and security provided by a care home.
  5. Seek professional advice: Consult with healthcare professionals and care providers to gain insight and guidance on the most suitable option based on individual circumstances. They can offer valuable expertise and recommendations tailored to specific care needs and preferences. Contact our friendly team and we would be happy to provide impartial support and guidance.

Ultimately, the decision between live-in care and a care home should prioritise the well-being, comfort, and preferences of the individual receiving care. By carefully considering these factors and seeking informed advice, you can make a choice that ensures the highest quality of care and enhances overall quality of life.

How the Good Care Group can help

For over 10 years, the Good Care Group has provided award-winning and industry-leading live-in care. Hiring a professional live-in carer and entrusting them with your home and vulnerable loved ones can be overwhelming. By choosing the Good Care Group, you never have to worry about the safety of your loved ones or the quality of care being provided.

Our professional carers are trained beyond industry standards and managed by an expert and local care manager. We take a holistic approach to care that considers not only the care needs of our clients but their lifestyle choices and preferences as well.

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