At some point, you or a loved one may require extra support to continue living comforta. This is true for millions of older adults across the United Kingdom. For many, staying home whilst receiving support is the ideal scenario and provides an important balance; cosy surroundings, a familiar environment and assistance when needed.
To help you decide the form of home care that best suits you, we’ve compared the two most popular types, live-in care and hourly care.
What is hourly care?
Both live-in care and hourly care are designed to improve quality of life for older people living at home. The biggest difference between the two services is the length of time a carer will spend with you at home.
Hourly care – sometimes called domiciliary care – is a visiting service where a carer comes to your home to help with tasks that have become too difficult to do alone; this could be anything from assisting you with showering, and light chores. The length and frequency of a visit will depend on your individual needs, however, as hourly carers see multiple clients in a day, they must stick to a strict schedule, so there may be times when you are without care or assistance.
Additional community health and social care support is available. These extra services can be arranged through local authorities to ensure you get all the help you need.
What is live-in care?
A live-in carer lives in the home of the person they are caring for so that they can provide round the clock care. A live-in carer’s duties can be similar to an hourly carer, as they also provide assistance with personal care and care for medical conditions. However, as there is no rush, care is carried out at a time or pace that suits you.
Live-in carers also provide additional support in the home including preparing food and cooking meals, pet care, running errands, and household management. The closeness and consistency of live-in care helps prevent accidents, falls and hospital admissions. A quick and hands-on response from live-in carers prevent incidents that can be detrimental to your health.
The benefits of live-in care and hourly care compared
The importance of the social aspect of home care shouldn’t be overlooked, in the United Kingdom more than half of over 75s live alone many report having feelings of loneliness and isolation. Research into elderly social isolation identified a link between feelings of loneliness and increased risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Ensuring a person’s social needs are equally tended to as well as their physical health, is vital for overall wellbeing.
The nature of live-in care means greater focus can be placed on social care and companionship. During a day, a carer will spend up to an average of 12 hours with you. This time is spent carrying out household and personal care duties, while ensuring that you are comfortable and entertained. Many live-in care providers work complex personality assessments into their recruitment process, allowing them to create excellent client-carer matches.
In contrast, individuals who receive hourly care can have minimal social interaction with their carers. Limited time to complete personal and household duties may leave little room for friendly chats. However, a person will likely have a larger team of regular carers who visit them, meaning they are able to interact with a variety of people.
Losing independence is a common concern for people looking for care. The worry of giving up self-determination, choice and control is often a factor behind the selection of care at home services instead of residential care homes.
An hourly care service can be a very convenient choice for people who want to receive care with as little disruption to their daily routines and way of life as possible. To receive live-in care, a bedroom in the home must be provided in order to accommodate the live-in carer and their belongings, some may find it difficult to adjust to this new living arrangement. Hourly care visits are typically arranged at times of the day that suits you, meaning only a small degree of change is needed to receive support at home.
Freedom & Choice
As many as 600,000 older people leave the house only once per week or less, and given the choice most would prefer to be out and about more often.
For some, without dependable assistance from a carer or relative, they are restricted in how they spend their day. With the help of a live-in carer, a person is able to carry out daily choices, whatever those choices may be.
Live-in care is a very flexible service; it encourages and supports older people to enjoy activities outside of the home, helps them to take part in impromptu community events, beloved hobbies, and visiting local attractions. In comparison, hourly support for trips outside of the home must first be arranged with the care provider.
Live-in care makes it possible for you to exercise independence and remain integrated and involved in your surrounding community.
To ensure care can be provided long term, it’s important to consider the affordability of the service you choose for your specific circumstances. Both hourly home care costs and live-in care costs differ depending on a person’s specific needs, however, domiciliary care is charged at an hourly rate, whereas live-in care fees are charged on a weekly basis.
Unless your needs change materially, your live-in care fees will remain the same, no hidden fees or additional charges means that you or your loved ones are able to confidently budget for care. Flexible costing for hourly care services means a person is able to scale up and down the level of support they receive by shortening or reducing the frequency of visits. This allows greater control over weekly care fees, a feature of hourly care that is especially beneficial for people with continuously changing needs.
Typically people with high dependency conditions believe care homes or residential care facilities are the only options available to them, however, full-time live-in care provides an alternative which allows the person to receive expert and specialist assistance without having to leave their homes. Specialist live-in carers are trained to provide care for a range of conditions including Dementia and Parkinson’s. Many live-in care services are nurse-led, meaning clinical duties can be carried out within the home, helping people live independently no matter their condition.
Peace of Mind
One of the greatest benefits of live-in care is the peace of mind it can create for the person and their loved ones. This type of care – helps reduce the worry and stress often experience.
Hourly care can be used to support families in the care of their loved ones. Friends and relatives of the person receiving care are able to rely on hourly carers at times during the day when they are unable to provide support themselves. Live-in care is very beneficial for families that are not able to provide part-time care. 24/7 support from a live-in carer helps families in these circumstances rest assured that their loved one is safe and comfortable at home.