Knowing the difference between live-in care and assisted living could open up your options when it comes to putting together a care plan for your loved one. If you are still determining which direction to go with your care planning, the best place to start is to explore the range of care services available out there.
Although they may sound similar, in-home care and assisted living are two very different types of care. By better understanding what these forms of care services can offer, you can make a fully informed choice to suit your loved one’s circumstances.
What is live-in care?
An alternative to residential forms of care, live-in care involves the carer moving into your loved one’s home to help with everyday tasks and personal care. Live-in carers offer round-the-clock support and can be on hand to help in an instant due to the carer living on the property. Live-in carers usually work on a rota, often for two weeks at a time, ensuring that the best possible care is always provided.
Live-in care is often preferable to other forms of care as it supports the individual in living independently in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their own home. Another advantage is that, unlike care in residential homes, live-in care is one-on-one, offering your loved one personalised care to suit their individual needs and specific health conditions.
This level of tailored support can be difficult to achieve in residential settings where care staff is responsible for multiple clients at the same time.
What is assisted living?
Assisted living, also known as extra-care or supported living, provides the individual with a sense of independence in their own self-contained flat. The accommodation provided in assisted living developments is specifically for those aged 55 and over.
With assisted living, residents may also benefit from 24/7 care, cleaning, laundry services and mobility assistance, depending on the amenities included. There are communal areas allowing residents to socialise together, as well as pre-arranged activities to fill the hours.
Moving away from home at any stage of life can be stressful and even more so as we age. However, if downsizing is part of your family member’s care plan, relocating to an assisted living apartment could be a possible option.
When deciding whether assisted living vs in home care is the most suitable choice for your loved one, their attachment to their home should be an important consideration to bear in mind.
However, it’s important to note that assisted living offers a supportive community environment, which can contribute positively to mental and social well-being. The organised activities and shared spaces foster a sense of camaraderie, potentially mitigating some of the challenges of transitioning from a private home.
How is live-in care and assisted living different?
The main difference between assisted living and live-in care is that with assisted living, the person requiring care needs to move from their current home into an assisted living housing development. In comparison, live-in care can be delivered from the comfort of their own home without the hassle of selling a property and packing away a lifetime of belongings.
Whilst assisted living offers a higher level of privacy than traditional assisted living or nursing homes, there may be problems securing a spot in a nearby community. If this is the case, as demand may be high in your area, your loved one may have to move further afield.
Relocating to a less familiar area and increasing the distance between family members and friends may be a sticking point when choosing between in-home care or assisted living. Remaining in their own home with a live-in carer is the least disruptive option for the care recipient, which is especially important if they are living with health conditions like dementia, where a sense of routine and familiarity are important.
Live-in care vs assisted living
|Advantages of Live-in Care
|Advantages of Assisted Living
|Personalised one-on-one care
|24/7 care may be available on-site
|Carers specialised in health conditions relevant to your loved one
|Rooms and communal areas designed to be easily accessible
|Remaining in the comfortable and familiar surroundings of home
|Smaller living areas which are easier to move around
|Surrounded by family, pets and memories
|Being part of a community of people which makes it easier to socialise
|No disruption as a result of moving home
|Social activities arranged for the residents’
|Flexible care that adapts as care needs change
|Secure housing with an alarm system
|Keeping a hold of the home to be inherited by the next generation
|Ideal for those still able to manage their own life with some support in place
The cost of assisted living vs in-home care
A common misconception is that opting for in-home care is far more costly than assisted living. Fortunately, this is not the case, as live-in care is often the less expensive option. Starting costs for live-in care can begin at £900 per week, depending on the level of care required. Similarly, assisted living accommodation can cost up to £1000 per week without the added benefits of personalised one-to-one care.
However, it is important to be aware that many residents in assisted living housing developments also require live-in or additional care services on top of the care received on-site. In addition to the fee for assisted living, residents may face the expense of live-in care, resulting in total care costs of approximately £2000 per week.
Before making any decisions, it is important to research thoroughly and weigh up the potential total costs for your loved one’s individual care requirements. Our Financing and Funding Care Guide can help.
When is staying at home best?
When deciding whether to opt for live-in care vs assisted living, you should consider your family member’s unique situation and the cost of assisted living vs in home care. Live-in care is the most suitable option for some, but not for all. Staying home would be the best course of action under the following circumstances:
Short-term care: Assisted living may not be suitable if support is only required for a short period of time, for instance, when overcoming an illness. Uprooting your family member this way could cause undue stress for such a short time.
Familiar surroundings: Assisted living may not be the answer if your family member has pets to care for and a home full of memories they cherish. Choosing live-in care enables them to remain in comfortable and familiar surroundings or their own home and stay with their beloved pets.
Daily routine: If your loved one has an active social life, friends and hobbies outside of the home, moving into assisted living may disrupt their weekly routine. Live-in carers can support their clients by driving them to social events and helping them to host friends and family in the comfort of their own home.
Care for couples: As well as being more economical, live-in care is a better solution for elderly couples needing assistance. With a live-in carer, couples can stay together in their own home with the support of one carer for both individuals.
To find out more about live-in care, download our free live-in care guide.
Why choose Country Cousins for live-in care?
Country Cousins is the UK’s longest-established introductory live-in care agency and has been providing compassionate care to individuals throughout the UK for over 60 years. Finding a compatible carer for your loved one is hassle-free when you register with Country Cousins.
At Country Cousins, we tailor our live-in home care services to the individual requirements of our clients, which are entirely flexible as care needs change. The ongoing success of our live-in care service is due to our expertise in matching the right carer to each client and overall client satisfaction.
Here’s what some of our clients say:
“We have been using Country Cousins for over a year now. They are great. Our client relations lady is excellent. She takes the time to understand our specific requirements and matches us with carers that she thinks will work best. She is responsive and has made a world of difference to my parents’ care.
Thank you for all your help with organising their care. – James
How to arrange live-in care with Country Cousins
Simply call us today to easily arrange live-in care on 0808 196 6095. Our experienced team is on hand to help from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. Alternatively, contact us through our online enquiry form.