Residential care homes
A residential care home is a long-term assisted care facility that provides accommodation, personalised care, and support to individuals who are unable to live independently. A care home will be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England and is required to meet specific standards regarding quality of care, safety, staffing, and accommodation.
Residents have their own private rooms and have access to communal areas such as lounges, dining rooms, and gardens. Care will be provided by carers who will assist residents with personal care, medication, and the tasks of daily life. Social and recreational activities are organised to promote socialisation and engagement among residents.
Live-in care is often overlooked as an alternative to a residential care home, as many families do not fully understand how a live-in care arrangement works. Live-in care is when a full-time carer lives in your home to provide you with one-to-one care and support 24 hours a day. You will need to provide a bedroom for your live-in carer, and they will eat the food you eat and whilst they will sleep when you do, they are on hand should you need them through the night.
Live-in care vs a care home
Both care homes and live-in care aim to provide safe, effective, and personalised care that enables a person to live well. Everyone is unique and requires different types and levels of care depending on their needs and preferences. We have provided benefits and limitations for both live-in care and care homes, so you have the information you need to make the right choice for you and your loved one.
|Highly personalised one-to-one care – something that cannot be achieved in a care home
|Adjusting to a carer living in your home
|Stay in the comfort and familiarity of the place you love the most – your own home
|Home maintenance is still needed
|The same care team will provide care and support offering continuity of care
|Home modifications may be required
|Complex care needs can be supported
|Live the life you want with choice and independence – no restrictive routines or visiting times
|Maintain friendships and community connections
|The family estate remains where it should be – with the family
|Cost-effective care option and especially economical for couples
|A safe and secure environment
|Upset, stress and upheaval of leaving your much loved home
|No home maintenance is needed
|Leaving your local community
|Can share your life with other like-minded people
|Loss of family pet
|Can still be a part of the local community if moving into a care home locally
|If you are a couple and move into a care home, you may be on different floors if you have different needs
|Activities and social events are regularly organised
|Downsizing to living in one room
|One carer will be caring for up to six residents all with different needs
|Routines are imposed with fixed patterns as to waking, eating, and socialising
|Higher rates of hospital admission and infections
|The family home is likely to be sold to pay for care home fees, leaving nothing for the family
|Not bonding with other residents
Live-in care enables people to remain in a familiar environment where they feel most happy and safe. A residential care home will mean adjusting to new surroundings. This change can be particularly difficult for those who are diagnosed with a long-term illness such as dementia. Staying in a familiar setting can help reduce stress levels and improve mental well-being. However, all individuals are different, and some may find a fresh start within a care home is better for them.
Moving into a residential care home can offer an opportunity for a rich social life. It provides a structured environment filled with activities and the chance to form connections with other residents. However, it’s important to consider that it might limit personal independence and choices, potentially impacting privacy, and individuality. On the other hand, live-in care brings the advantage of a personalised social routine. It allows individuals to maintain their existing social circles, participate in community activities, and feel a deep sense of belonging in their own community or family circle.
The biggest difference between receiving live-in care at home or living in a care home is the freedom that it allows. Although care homes offer a structured environment and support for daily tasks, some individuals may find the loss of personal independence and decision-making challenging. However, live-in care allows individuals to maintain familiar routines, stay with their pets and have family and friends visit regularly.
The cost of live-in home care can vary depending on several factors, including the location, level of care required, and the agency or provider you choose.
The fee charged for live-in care will cover the following:
- Carers salary
- Agency fee
- Personal care
- Supervision of medication
The fees for moving into a residential care home, cover a range of services and amenities. The specific services included in the fee can vary depending on the facility and the level of care required.
The fee for a care home may cover:
- Meals and nutrition
- Maintenance and repairs
- Medication management
“2 million British people know an elderly person who has had to put their pet to sleep when moving into residential care
- The Live-In Care Hub Report, 2014
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