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

Most people say they would prefer to remain in their own home when they grow older. Independent living is often possible even when a high level of care is needed because the necessary help can be provided in a person’s home. If you are considering home care or live-in care for your loved one, here is an outline of the types available.

Traditional Home Care

This type of care, also known as domiciliary care, is usually carried out by a caregiver who visits the person’s home at set times to help with whatever they need. The level of input from carers can vary from just one short visit every day to three or four half-hour sessions, depending on the person’s needs.

If your loved one is receiving this kind of care at home, they need to accept that the carer’s time is limited and their schedule must be kept. This can limit choices about various aspects of their lifestyle such as what time to get up and go to bed, and when to eat their meals. Domiciliary care assistants provide in-home care to different people throughout the day and sometimes they might be late reaching your loved one if they have been held up for any reason with a previous client.

In addition to personal care, people receiving care in their own home can often get other forms of help such as meals on wheels or assistance with transport to appointments.

You can request the social services department of your loved one’s local authority to carry out a needs assessment to determine what help they require. Some people are eligible for financial help with care costs, and the authority can check your loved one’s position by carrying out a means test to check their income, savings and assets. This will determine whether they will need to contribute towards the cost of their care.

Live-in Care

Elderly care in the home can also mean 24/7 support, which is when the carer moves into your loved one’s house to take on all their care needs and keep them comfortable and safe. A live-in carer will usually work on a rota basis with another person, working two weeks on and two weeks off, for example.

The exact details of the private live-in care for your loved one will depend on their needs and the individual care provider. However, your loved one can expect to have assistance with housework, laundry, shopping and meal preparation as well as personal care.

Providers of this type of elderly care select caregivers who have things in common with the person they are going to support. This means that they should get on well together and develop a good relationship.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Advantages of 24-Hour Care in the Home

This type of private care can be more flexible because the carer is with your loved one all the time. The care recipient can choose to vary their routine, stay in bed for a morning or have tea in the garden, all things that would be difficult or impossible if they were relying on help from a visiting caregiver.

Because in-home care on a 24-hour-a-day basis involves one-to-one support for your loved one, the carer can help with many different activities. They can enable them to continue hobbies they enjoy, assist them to exercise, take them out to social activities or shopping and do many of the things that a family member would do, even going on holiday with them if required.

The companionship provided by a carer who is there 24-hours-a-day is another advantage of this type of elderly care. Older people can become lonely, and brief visits from a domiciliary carer are not enough to overcome this. Having someone to chat to and share their life with can make all the difference to an elderly person.

Dementia Care

People who suffer from dementia can frequently be upset by changes in their lives. Moving out of their familiar environment can be confusing, and even if they can stay in their own home, having a succession of different people helping them can also make them feel anxious. If your loved one has short term memory problems that mean that they do not remember any of the domiciliary workers who come into their home, they can feel threatened by what they perceive as strangers carrying out intimate tasks.

Having a live-in carer who is always there and whom they get to know well can make the life of someone receiving Alzheimer’s care far more comfortable and settled.

Private care providers ensure that their staff have extensive background checks and can legally work in the UK. If your loved one needs specialist care, they will select a carer with the appropriate training and experience, whether this is dementia care, care for Parkinson’s disease, palliative care for a terminal condition or any other illness.

Everyone wants to provide the best quality of life possible for their loved one, and one-to-one care in their own home is the ideal solution for many people.

Do you need a carer?

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0333 241 3141

Give us a call and one of our specialist care team will get in touch

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"Sometimes, all you need is a friendly face."

James, Care Professional at Elder

James Elder Carer

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