Choosing Between a Care Home and Live-In Care

Choosing between a care home and live-in care is a difficult challenge; it can be hard to see what separates the two, as both offer consistent ongoing care from professionals. But there are key differences between these options that show where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Residential care-homes have been the go-to option for a long time, with live-in care having only grown in popularity in recent years. Both have gained their popularity from the fact that they offer guaranteed care at all times.

Care Homes: the basics, and advantages and disadvantages

Care homes are commercial residences offering a safe, secure place for their elderly residents. They have staff on hand day and night to attend to emergencies and assist in any situation. You can find homes that are specially set up to deal with certain needs, such as dementia-specific homes, but not all homes cater to all needs. Thorough research of each home is crucial before choosing one, as they do offer slightly different services and levels of care. Facilities, amenities, visiting schedules and extracurricular activities differ from home to home. Take a look at these care homes in Devon to see the different types of homes on offer.

Advantages of care homes

  • Housekeeping services
  • Prepared meals
  • 24/7 staff
  • A secure and supervised environment
  • Chances to socialise
  • Management of healthcare and medication
  • No household bills or maintenance charges
  • Can cater to specialist needs

Disadvantages of care homes

  • Requires moving, which can be long, expensive and stressful
  • Difficult to change if the care recipient’s wellbeing improves
  • Freedom restrictions
  • Focus on practical rather than emotional needs

Live-in care: the basics, and advantages and disadvantages

Live-in care means a carer moves into the care recipient’s home, providing 24 hour one-to-one support. There will always be someone there to build an on-going relationship with the care-recipient— someone who can stay in their familiar environment with all their belongings. The caregiver will need a spare room, and the home will more than likely need many modifications, such as ramps, handrails and emergency cords. Caregivers are trained professionals with experience in emotional and physical support, although they may lack training in certain specialist areas. They can help prepare meals and keep the home clean, and can also help with medical plans. They probably won’t carry out any treatment themselves, which is one way they differ from residential homes, but will instead be able to take care recipients to and from hospital to receive care.

Advantages of live-in care

  • 24/7 support and help
  • Housekeeping services
  • Stay in the same location
  • More independence and freedom
  • Constant company and one to one support
  • Allows families/couples to stay together

Disadvantages of live-in care

  • Suitable only for low to mid-level needs—those with more specialist needs would benefit from a needs specific residential home
  • The care recipient’s home may need significant modifications
  • Requires a spare room for the care

The two options both have significant advantages depending on what you are looking for.