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Live-in Care or Care Homes: What's the Difference?

The difference between live-in care and a residential care home is that in the first model the person stays in their own home, whereas in the latter they move into a building with other people who also need care.

If your loved one needs assistance with their day-to-day life you might think they could be better off in a care home. However, most people are happier in a familiar environment, and it is advantageous to keep them there as long as they receive the care they need. Private live-in care is the ideal answer.

Independent living isn’t just about simply living in their own home; it is about choice in many aspects of life. In-home care can give your loved one the assistance they need while supporting them to make decisions about how they want to live their life.

Although some people enjoy living in a community with others, many people are happier in their own space. It is one reason why so many people who need elderly care are opting to remain at home with support from a caregiver 24 hours a day. In addition to all the practical tasks that a live-in carer carries out, they can also provide companionship for your loved one.

Key Benefits of Care at Home

Crucially, in staying at home, your loved one does not have to face the upheaval that moving into a care home would entail. The person can keep all their precious possessions around them, and if they have pets, they will not have to deal with the trauma of being separated from them.

Remaining mobile and as independent as possible for as long as possible is important to many older people, and this includes making their own choices about their daily lives.

Your loved one can specify what support they want and how they’d like to live their lives.

A live-in carer would help in all aspects of your their life, so if the care recipient wanted to go out, they could accompany them to events.

Because there is only one person or sometimes a couple to care for, home care can provide one-to-one support, which would not be practical in a care home.

Colin and Dulcie’s story

Dulcie is 102-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 over two years.

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.

Key Benefits of Care in a Care Home

Some people like living in a more social environment and joining in with organised activities. In a care home, there are fewer practical worries, and many of the person’s choices will be made for them.

Care homes have all the equipment needed to provide quality elderly care and many are designed with dementia care in mind, offering specialist signage.

If your loved one moves into a care home, their fees will include heating, lighting and food, which would all have to be paid for separately if they remain in their own home.

Why More People Prefer to Stay in Their Own Home

There is much less disruption to a person’s life if the assistance they need can be provided at home. This is particularly true for those in need of Alzheimer’s care as they can become anxious and confused if they are moved from a familiar place to a strange environment.

With one-to-one private care your loved one can build up a relationship with their carer, who will live with them 24 hours a day, normally only rotating with one other carer. In a care home there will be lots of different staff, and many institutions have a high staff turnover, offering much less consistency of care.

Staff-to-resident ratios in a care home can be around one to four. This means that carers will have less time to spend with each resident, and if your loved one needs attention it may not be available immediately. With one-to-one care at home, the carer is only there for your loved one, so they will always receive the attention they need.

Many people do not want to leave the neighbourhood where they have lived for years. They may have elderly friends who would be unable to visit them if they moved into a care home, and all their social contacts could be disrupted by a move away.

Financial Considerations

Live-in care can be more affordable than you might think. The cost is comparable to care home fees, and for couples it is advantageous financially. There are various ways to pay for whatever type of elderly care is needed, and a good provider should be able to offer advice on how to arrange funding.

Whatever level of assistance your loved one needs, even if it entails complex dementia care, administration of medicines by injection or PEG feeding, suitable care at home can be arranged.

Call us for expert live-in care advice
0333 150 2350

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