Live-in care vs care home – helping you choose

Many of us assume that when we are no longer able to look after ourselves, the only option is to move into a care home. However, 97% of people say they do not want to go into a care home when they are older (OnePoll, 2014). It seems most of us would rather stay in our own much-loved home with its comfort, familiarity and treasured possessions. Live-in care makes this a realistic and potentially preferable option. With that, the question ‘live-in care vs care home – which is best?’ arises. Our guide explains the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

The Pros and cons of live-in care vs care home

The benefits of care homes

A secure environment

Good care homes offer a secure environment for those who need support. The home will be staffed and monitored around the clock with qualified carers who are always on hand to support your loved one. Your loved one will have their own room and can take some of their possessions with them. Some care homes cater for a wide range of needs including dementia and Parkinson’s as well as adults with particular needs.

No home to maintain

Moving into a care home means you, or your loved one are no longer responsible for home maintenance, bills and housework.

Meals will be provided

Your loved one will be prepared and served meals at set times. Care homes cater for a range of tastes and dietary requirements. This means there is no need to think about meals.

Social opportunities

Care homes have communal areas where your loved one can socialise with other residents. Of course, family and friends can visit, too. The staff will also organise regular activities from keep-fit classes to sing-alongs. Most care homes have a garden to enjoy in good weather and they may also arrange trips out.

Overall care homes provide a high level of care, security and social opportunities for anyone needing extra support.

The disadvantages of care homes

Stress and upheaval

Moving to a new place and being surrounded by new people can be stressful.

Leave home, neighbourhood, partner and pets

Leaving a home full of memories and treasured possessions to move into a single room is extremely difficult. Your loved one will also have to say goodbye to their established neighbourhood and pets. Sometimes most wrenching of all they will have to live separately from their lifelong partner. The change in surroundings and routine can be particularly difficult for those living with dementia.

An imposed routine

Adjusting to the routines of a care home can be difficult for many people. There will be set times for meals, activities and even bedtime. This loss of independence and control can be hard to adjust to.

Care ratios

Care homes generally have excellent staffing levels; however, they cannot usually provide one-to-one care. Clients may see many different carers during their day.

Health

Several medical studies have suggested that a move from familiar surroundings can cause distress and a decline in health. The Good Care Group found that the health of many residents declines on admittance to a care home.

The benefits of live-in care

Stay in your own home

The most obvious advantage to live-in care is that your loved one will be able to stay in their own home and in the community of neighbours, local professionals and healthcare workers they are familiar with. They can continue to see friends and family whenever they choose and keep a much-loved pet if they want to. Also, couples can stay together and enjoy a cost-effective solution.

Safe and dedicated 1:1 care

With live-in home care, your loved one can have a live-in carer 24 hours a day seven days a week. Physical, medical and emotional needs can be met, and there is always someone there to keep an eye on your loved one. This one to one support means a close bond can form and your loved one will have a loyal friend and companion they can rely on. Also, your devoted carer will notice any changes in your loved one’s behaviour or health that might need attention. One constant carer also provides the very best safe care during the pandemic.

Independence and privacy

Your live in carer is there to support your loved one as much as they need to live life the way they want to. They will adapt to your loved one’s routines, such as when they want to eat and what time they choose to go to bed. Their support will help your loved one continue to live a rich, varied and fulfilling life. They can take care of necessary tasks such as help with personal care, admin, household chores and meal preparation so your loved one can relax knowing everything is taken care of.

Support for specialist needs

When you choose live-in care you will be provided with a carer who is suitably trained to support your loved one. Many carers receive specialist training in conditions such as a Parkinson’s, dementia and stroke.

Live-in care agencies can also provide supported living services for adults, enabling people with autism, learning disabilities or mental health illnesses to live as independently as possible within their own homes and in the local community.

Comparable costs but you get so much more

Live-in care costs are typically similar to, or less than care home costs. The live-in care costs cover a dedicated one to one carer who will flexibly and compassionately support your loved one.

There is an even greater value for couples. Where a care home would charge double for two beds, their fee is usually only slightly more for a live in carer for two people at the same address.

The disadvantages of live-in care

A new face at home

Of course, with any change in living arrangements, there is a period of adjustment. Your loved one and family will have to get used to a new person being part of their lives. The best home care providers will do their best to choose a carer who shares your loved one’s values and interest to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Often the new carer becomes ‘one of the family’, offering reassurance and companionship as well as skilled care.

Home modifications may be required

To make your loved one’s home safe for their requirements some modifications to the home may be required such as handrails, wheelchair ramps and walk-in baths. These modifications are often paid for by the local council.

Must have a spare room

You will need to provide your live-in carer with their own room. It is also advisable to ensure they have internet access and a TV.

Deciding on the right care for your loved one

Ultimately, the choice between residential care and live-in care will depend on personal circumstances and wishes. However, live-in home care is a viable choice in almost all circumstances and can provide the best possible outcome for your loved one.

Still not sure?

Making the hugely important decision on the best care for your loved one is difficult. We know that you are balancing many emotional and practical concerns when considering live-in care vs care home. If you are unsure about whether live-in care would be the best option for your loved one, they could trial live-in care service for a short period to see whether it suits them. The same goes for a care home. Neither is set in stone. However, often to move into a care home your loved one will need to sell their home.

Call our friendly and knowledgeable team to discuss your loved ones individual needs

From the moment you call Mumby”s live-in care team, you will receive outstanding care. Our team will enjoy getting to know you and your loved one so we can help find the right care solution for your loved ones individual care needs. We will answer all of your questions including ‘live-in care vs care home – which is best for your loved one?’ We take time to visit your loved one and find a carer that they will be most comfortable with and who has similar interests and a personality that suits.

Our carers are professionally trained and many are thought of as part of the family. They consider the needs of their client and often go the extra mile to personally care for them. If the need arises, our office staff are on-hand to provide support too. All of our team are proud to be part of the Mumby’s family that delivers outstanding and dedicated live-in care.

Contact us by calling freephone 0800 505 3511. We’ll look forward to speaking with you.