Benefits and Limitations of Care Options | The Good Care Group

Understanding the benefits and limitations of different care options

There are many different options when planning care and the industry can be a minefield when deciding which care would be best for you or a loved one. Here we outline the benefits and limitations between the three main options; live-in care, residential care (care homes) and visiting care.

Live-in Care

Increasingly becoming a well-known care option, live-in care has many benefits. Professional live-in carers provide one to one care, that is individually tailored to your specific care and social needs. You receive highly personalised care from the comfort of your own home. Live-in carers can also support more complex needs such as dementia, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis. It has also been well documented by The Good Care Group, that live-in care improves your health outcomes; with fewer falls, lower rates of infections and fewer hospital admissions. It has also been proven to be the safest form of care during a pandemic. There is a misconception that live-in care costs are dramatically higher than other care options, when in reality the cost of live-in care is comparable to a high quality care home.

However there are limitations with live-in care and live-in care is not suited to everyone. Having a carer live in your home, 24 hours a day, can take some adjusting to, as you will be sharing your home with someone who initially is a stranger to you. You need to be able to provide the carer with a spare room for them to stay in, and home modifications may be needed to support this or your care plan. Also, as you are still in your home, you are still responsible for your household’s maintenance, which can be stressful for some.

Visiting Care 

With visiting care you still receive one to one personal care during your allocated visit. With this type of care you can also personalise your support by changing the frequency of your visits. Visiting care can be very cost effective, especially if your care needs are non-complex, but instead you require help with day to day tasks, like dressing or preparing meals. Visiting care, like live-in care, allows you to stay in the comfort of your own home and receive the care you need. You will also receive care from familiar faces, most of the time, helping you build trust in the care you receive.

A drawback of visiting care is the amount of time you get with your carer. Visits normally are between 30minutes to one hour and you are not always guaranteed the same carer for each visit, so you could receive care from multiple people over time. If you require care and support during the night, visiting care is not suitable for you and you would need to arrange for additional care. Unfortunately, visiting carers can increase your chance of being exposed to viruses as each carer can be supporting up to 6 clients within an 8 hour shift. Wholly, visiting care is for those who need basic support within their day or week. It is not suitable for those with complex care needs, as there is not the time for them to deliver this level of support within their visit.

Residential Care 

Residential care provides a safe and secure environment, where you receive your care and support, meals, social activities and medication if required. Your meals will be prepared for you and you will have people to socialise with daily, as well as planned activities to engage in.

However, if you are not someone who likes to socialise with others or engage in new activities, residential care can be an isolating and overwhelming environment. There are routines to follow for waking up, bed time and meal times, which some may find restrictive and the carer will have between 5-6 residents to support during one 12 hour shift, reducing the time spent in 1:1 activities. Also the stress of moving from your home to a care home can be upsetting, and may require lifestyle changes, like giving up a loved pet. Unlike being in your own home, you only have one room to call your own, so precious possessions have to be streamlined to include only the essentials. There may also be an increased risk of hospital admission due to falls and infections, which has recently included COVID-19.

Whether you choose live-in care, hourly care or residential care, it is important to choose the care that is firstly right for your individual needs and secondly in an environment that you feel comfortable in to receive your care. You can find out more about later life planning and funding your care via our webinar.

If you feel live-in care is the best option for you, please speak to a friendly member of our Client Services team on 0808 2528 708

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