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Live-in Care or Care Home - Which is Best

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  • Admin
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  • Live In Care, Home Comfort, Care Home Benefits, Affordability Comparison, Care Home Downsides
  • Posted date:
  • 28-02-2024
Live-in Care or Care Home - Which is Best

Live-in care or care home? Which is best? Our comprehensive guide helps you understand the key differences, advantages, and considerations of live-in care versus care homes. 

What Is Live-in Care?

Live-in care refers to a setup where a carer lives in the person's home to provide around-the-clock care. The service is typically tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual. It can range from companionship and assistance with day-to-day tasks to more specialised care for those with complex conditions such as dementia.

With live-in care, the care recipient can remain in the comfort of their own home, which can be important for maintaining their independence and familiar routines.

The carer, who usually works in two-week shifts, attends to care needs such as cooking, cleaning, medication assistance, and sometimes mobility assistance. The presence of a carer around the clock reassures both the person receiving care and their family that they are safe. This type of care can be a suitable alternative to moving into a care home, especially for people who require more personalised care or have a strong wish to stay in their own home.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Live-in Care?

Live-in care offers an array of significant benefits that can greatly enhance the quality of life for the recipient.

Live-in Care or Care Home? Which is Best?

The Comfort of Their Own Home

One of the principal benefits of live-in care is that the person being cared for gets to remain in the comfort of their own home. This tends to eliminate the stress and anxiety that's typically associated with having to adapt to a new environment, such as a care home.

Additionally, the individual retains the freedom to perform their everyday routines just as they’re accustomed to. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who are living with dementia, as any significant changes in their environment can often lead to bouts of confusion and agitation.

Personalised Care

Another major perk of live-in care is the delivery of customised care services. This contrasts sharply with care homes where the staff tend to be overwhelmed with the need to care for multiple residents simultaneously.

In the case of a live-in carer, their attention is undivided, focusing solely on the individual they have been assigned to look after. This permits the carer to adapt their services to match the precise needs and personal preferences of the person under their care. As a result, the level of one-to-one attention and support they can provide is something that care homes might find challenging to match.

Personalised Care London

The Ability to Retain Pets

A pet can offer immense joy and provide a valuable sense of companionship to its owner. It’s a comfort that many people wouldn't want to part from, and thankfully, with live-in care, they won't have to. 

This is in stark contrast to care homes which typically don't permit residents to keep pets. A live-in carer is able and willing to assist not only with caring for the individual but also with taking care of their beloved pet.

Why consider a care home?

Deciding on the best options for loved ones as they age can be a difficult process. While live-in care can offer certain advantages, there are numerous reasons why a care home might serve as a more suitable option. One of the key benefits is that care homes offer round-the-clock support. This means that there are qualified nursing staff available to assist residents at all hours.

This continuous provision of care can present a profound peace of mind for relatives who may have concerns about the well-being of their loved one. In addition to the reassurance of 24-hour support, care homes also facilitate social interaction. This is particularly advantageous, as social interaction has been found to have significant benefits for mental health, especially in older adults.

Care homes often organise a variety of activities that provide opportunities for residents to interact and participate in communal life, which can greatly help to offset feelings of isolation.

Participating in such group activities allows residents to foster new connections, and build meaningful friendships with their fellow residents. Moreover, care homes are specifically designed and structured to accommodate the needs of those with physical infirmities or cognitive impairments.

The environment is secure and easy to navigate, helping to reduce risk and ensuring residents feel comfortable and at ease. They are equipped with a range of aids and modifications that may not be present in a home setting, such as handrails, ramps, and specialised furnishings. This means that residents can retain their independence in a safe, supportive setting.

Which type of care is more affordable?

When choosing between live-in care or a care home, the cost is often a substantial determining factor. Both options entail varying costs, which are dependent upon individual circumstances and the extent of the care necessary.

Nevertheless, it is crucial not to overlook the broader picture. Opting for live-in care not only involves paying for the actual services rendered but also requires covering the daily household operating costs. As such, a care home may represent a more economical choice as this inclusive price encapsulates all necessary provisions. Whilst live-in care may initially seem costlier due to the added household expenses, it does provide the comfort of remaining in a familiar environment which can be priceless for some.

Given the complexities surrounding the financial aspects of care, it is strongly recommended to seek advice from care funding experts. With their guidance, it becomes easier to understand the intricate costs involved and learn about the range of funding options that are available. It's all about finding the care provision that aligns with both the personal and financial requirements of the individual in need.

Which type of care is more affordable?
Downsides of care homes

The often unspoken about downsides of care homes

While there are definite positives to moving into a care home, they're not without their drawbacks.

One of the primary issues some residents face is the lack of privacy and personal space. Unlike the solitude of their own homes where they can retreat to whenever they need, care homes often have communal areas and rooms that have to be shared. This lack of personal space can be a challenging transition for many, particularly those who value their own space and solitude.

Another negative aspect of care homes can be the loss of independence. The necessary routines of care homes can be difficult for many to adjust to, mainly if they're used to having control over their own routine and schedule. Living in a care home often requires adapting to set meal times, organised activities and bedtime. Many people can find this lack of control over their day-to-day lives difficult to reconcile with.

Thirdly, care homes are not always able to provide the same level of personalised attention which might be available at home. Due to the number of residents who need care, staff often have to divide their time and attention amongst several individuals at once.

Consequently, this can sometimes result in swiftly administered or 'hurried' care, and there's a risk that the specific needs and nuances of care for individual residents might not be fully understood or met. Additionally, it's important to note the majority of care homes do not allow residents to bring their pets along with them.

For individuals who have a deep bond with their pets, this restriction can be an emotional downside. Finally, when deliberating between live-in care or a care home, various factors must be considered, including costs, independence, potential pet restrictions, and the level of personalised care available. It's vital to remember that everyone's needs and preferences are distinctive and these should guide the decision-making process.


We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from care at home.