24-hour care at home

Elder helps you find round-the-clock in-home care to fit your loved one’s circumstances and needs.

Quick overview

Standard live-in care involves one carer who is on-call 24/7, but does not work waking nights.

For those with more complex care needs or health issues, full 24/7 care is available which would involve more than one carer – ensuring someone is on shift to tend to their needs during nighttime hours.

This form of care provides those with complex medical needs the constant care they require.

How does 24-hour care work?

With 24 hour live-in care you or your loved one will be supported by two carers who exchange shifts – meaning one carer is fully on duty at all times. The most common way of doing this is by having one carer for the daytime, and one for night. This means each carer gets a much-needed break, while still ensuring there is always a carer available to look after you or a loved one, respond to any urgent care needs, or to prevent accidents.

If you’re arranging care for someone else, knowing that they’re well cared for in their own home can bring a great sense of security. This may be a particular comfort if you live far away, or even in a different country, from your loved one.

We’re fortunate to have a variety of care options available, depending on the circumstance. Each variant offers a level of care particular to a specific need, such as care at home, elderly care, dementia care and companion care.

The difference between live-in care and 24-hour care

It’s important to understand that standard live-in care is different from 24-hour care. While a live-in carer is present in the home 24/7, the distinction is made by the number of carers looking after the person needing care and whether they’re ‘on call 24/7′ or ‘providing care 24/7′.

Standard live-in care involves one live-in carer who works up to 10 hours per day, and then is available for ad hoc care needs through the night – provided that this wakes them up less than three times per night. Above and beyond this support, you may need 24-hour care.

24-hour care is particularly suitable for those with medical conditions that need around the clock care and treatment.

A young carer arrives with a box of groceries

Assessment is key

While we may have an idea of what type of care we need, it’s important to receive a professional assessment of the type of care that would be most beneficial. 

If you feel you or a loved one requires an assessment, you can get one by contacting your local authority or your GP. However, if currently in the hospital, one will be carried out by the discharge team.

An assessment will confirm whether the person needing care can remain living at home, and whether they require nursing or daily living assistance. Attention will also focus on any existing medical conditions, and make provision for the changing nature of degenerative illnesses.

Whether 24-hour care is needed will depend on a number of other factors too, such as sleep quality and behaviour.

Conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Multiple Sclerosis – especially in the later stages can make day-to-day tasks challenging and also cause problems during the night – such as pain for those living with MS, or tendencies to wander for those with Alzheimer’s.

In instances such as these, 24-hour care will likely be recommended for the person’s comfort, safety and care.

Is 24-hour home care an alternative to care homes?

As older people live longer, there’s an ever-increasing demand for quality care. According to Statista, there are over 400,000 people living in care homes across the UK.

It’s estimated that 70% of these people are living with dementia or severe memory problems. 

However, attitudes towards residential homes are changing. As of 2020 over 70% of people surveyed for the Just Group Plc Social Care Report said they did not want to go into a care home – up from less than 50% in 2013. In addition to that the report found that 64% of over 75’s would prefer at home care, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many people are now choosing to meet care needs by providing them with 24-hour care at home instead.

Accident prevention

Unfortunately, as we get older we’re more likely to have an accident at home. Mobility problems such as arthritis, weakened muscles and osteoporosis can put people at a higher risk of falling or tripping while at home. As can poor eyesight, reduced depth perception, and slower cognition.

Mobility issues can also make certain areas of the home more dangerous. Bathroom accidents often occur when someone loses balance getting in and out of a bath or shower, or by slipping on a wet floor. However for older people the impact of a fall can be huge – resulting in painful fractures that take a long-time to heal.

If you or a loved on has a history of falls at home, or has started to experience confusion during the day ot night,  24-hour care could significantly reduce the risk of a serious accident by ensuring there’s a safe pair of hands / qualified care professional every hour of the day.

What are the benefits of 24/7 care at home?

Better mental health

Live-in 24-hour care keeps people remaining where they feel connected to their family, community, and routine can keep them independent, positive, and reduces anxiety and stress.

Familiar surroundings

Remaining in a familiar environment can be particularly important for those requiring dementia care, for whom the shock of moving into a care setting may be upsetting at this vulnerable stage in their lives.

Establishing and maintaining daily routines in a familiar place can be an essential factor in maximising a sense of stability, and reducing upsetting behaviours such as sundowning, confusion, or mood swings.

Bespoke care

One-on-one care can help with things like meal preparation, personal care and grooming, or supporting gentle movement such as chair based exercises to help with mobility. However, home care is much more than a practical option and a dedicated carer will often be able to boost the confidence of the person they’re supporting, enabling them to resume activities they may have let slip, and increase their quality of life.

You or your loved one will be matched with carers not only on the basis of care needs, but on personality and interests too. For example, you may prefer care from someone who can speak a certain language, or who is happy to take the dog for a walk, or perhaps can cook nutritious meals from a particular cuisine.

This approach means you can form a close bond, and it allows holistic and practical solutions to be part of the care package.

Such bespoke care is unique to at-home care – residential care homes are simply not set up to allow this sort of personal approach. An at-home care package is designed to be flexible, and changes can be made as and when circumstances alter.

Is round-the-clock care expensive?

According to Homecare.co.uk, the leading home care review website,  24-hour home care starts at around £1000 to £1,400 per week for a single person. However it can be over  £2,000 per week depending on needs. 

While it’s often assumed that 24-hour, attentive care will be too expensive for most of us to manage financially,  at Elder our pricing is tailored to the care needs of the individual. This means you’ll never pay more than you need to. Get in touch for a quote.

An Elder Family Support Specialist takes a call from an Elder customer.


You may be eligible for funding from their local authority. You’ll need to complete a care needs assessment, and then your financial situation will be discussed during a formal financial assessment, to make sure you gain access to all avenues of support available to you. The local authority may decide to only partially cover the cost of care, but this free funding stream can still make a huge difference.

At Elder we recommend a four step plan to funding care which consists of applying for relevant benefits, checking your eligibility for NHS funding, accessing local authority funding, and considering funding care with savings or other assets.

For someone who’s care needs are intensive enough to require 24-hour home care, it is worth considering whether they are eligible for NHS funding, as this is likely.

Choosing Elder 24-hour care

Our UK-wide network of 24-hour care professionals helps you find the right care for your family. Get in touch with our team to find out more.

More choice

Choose an expert carer to provide care around the clock from our 5000+ community, and manage care easily with your MyElder account. 

More control

If your family needs to find expert live-in carers at short notice, we can help you in just 24 hours.

More support

Our dedicated support specialists and clinical team are here to listen, guide, and empower 7 days a week. 

More value

No surcharges, no hidden costs, and no joining fees– just truly personalised care.


Colin and Dulcie’s story

Dulcie is 100-years-old and lives with her son Colin, his wife Mary, and her Carer Sarah. She has dementia and has had full-time live-in care for six months. We talk to the family about the challenges of finding the right care solution for a fiercely independent woman – and how the positive benefits of live-in care with Sarah has transformed all of their lives.


Care in the home

We specialise in helping families up and down the UK find carers with the skills and expertise to look after elderly relatives with specialist care needs, in their own homes. Our in-house clinical team will assess your unique requirements, and our Care advisors will identify the right local experts to help look after your loved ones.

Trusted carers, whenever you need them

We believe that finding the right person, with the right care expertise is central in ensuring your loved ones receive the physical and emotional support they need to live happily and independently. That is why our carer community covers the entire UK, and you can have a carer in your home within 24 hours if you need one urgently.

Round-the-clock care, with clear costs

We are completely transparent about our pricing structure at every stage of our process. You won’t pay a penny until you’ve started receiving care, and you can contact our team at any time if you have any questions about 24-hour care in the home.

An Elder Family Support Specialist takes a call from an Elder customer.

Here for you, whenever you need us

Thousands of people up and down the UK live with serious conditions or personal circumstances that require expert care. 

At Elder, we specialise in helping you find the right live-in carers, who can provide the highest level of round-the-clock care.  They do everything they can to support comfort, happiness and independence at home. We offer expertise in a huge range of care skills, whether they are living with Alzheimer’s, hypertension, or mobility issues. Give us a call to discuss your needs 

Read more about 24 hour care

From how to tell when the time is right, to the many health and lifestyle benefits, we’ve covered the essentials below.

Frequently asked questions

Elder-approved carers work for up to ten hours a day each, taking their breaks intermittently throughout the day, but only when it is absolutely safe to do so. This carer will also be on-call throughout this time, in the event of an emergency. Each live-in carer requires a spare room in your loved one’s home to sleep in when they are on call or between shifts.

For a 24-hour care plan, the care recipient’s home would need two carers and therefore two spare rooms. As with our standard plans, if and when your live-in carer requires time off, a respite carer will move in to cover their responsibilities. Respite carers are held to exactly the same high standards of vetting and background checking as any other Elder home carer.

If your care plan requires just one carer, who is on duty during daylight hours and on call during nighttime hours, then we plan for up to three wake-ups per night on average. Whatever the reason for your loved one requiring care assistance, we can implement a number of ways of notifying the carer, including an alarm, a bell or a mobile phone alert.

Should the care needs of your loved one require more than three carer wake-ups per night on average, the carer will notify us directly and we will help you create a two carer plan.

As mentioned above, there is a distinction between someone being on-hand 24/7 and two carers providing 24/7 care.

Some progressive conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and later stage cancers require constant supervision to ensure that the care recipient is safe and happy. Particularly with conditions that affect memory or the ability to sleep, the enduring support of a carer is key in ensuring they receive a level of care which allows them to love in the utmost comfort.

When these conditions require more than three carer wake-ups during the night, we recommend that a second carer be brought in wherever possible.

We create holistic 24-hour care plans to make your life easier when looking for a two carer plan, rather than requiring you to pay for two single carer plans like other care providers.

Our pricing for 24-hour care plans is tailored depending on your loved one’s unique needs and requirements. Visit our pricing page to learn more about our pricing structure and to book a consultation.

Many older people with either progressive medical conditions, disabilities or physical limitations require a helping hand at all times.

Some conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect memory or ability to complete day-to-day tasks such as washing and going to the toilet, while physical disabilities such as multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause pain in the night and inability to sleep.

At Elder, we believe that everybody deserves the care they need to live their lives as comfortably and happily as possible, that is why we offer bespoke care plans to fit all needs, be they round-the-clock or otherwise.