home care - a senior care option

Home Care Services: A Better Alternative To A Residential Home


When considering which type of elderly care is right for yourself or your loved one, there are a number of options. Here we look at the two key options: home care (visiting or live-in) and residential care.

According to statistics from our Better At Home report, 97% of people would prefer not to move into a care home if they become ill or incapable of caring for themselves. Yet many people feel this is inevitable if they can longer look after themselves. Fortunately, there are other options, which many people don’t know about. Care at home is where a professionally trained carer comes to your home during the day or lives with you. This could be a far better alternative to a residential setting for many people if only they were aware of this option. So how do you decide which type of senior help and support is best for you or your elderly relative? A residential facility may be the typical choice but it also makes sense to consider in-home care or 24/7 live-in care.

There are, obviously, some advantages to both which you should consider first and certainly before making any decision in a crisis:

Residential Care Home


  • Enables a person to receive help and support 24/7 if they need access to it
  • Access to nursing assistance
  • Might provide a good social environment for an elderly person
  • The person’s house doesn’t need to be kept and maintained
  • You know they will always be safe

Home Care Services


  • Enables a person to receive help and support when they need it, one-to-one dedicated personal support
  • A professional in-home carer can arrange access to nursing assistance and in many cases can undertake interventions supported by local district nursing teams
  • The person can keep their pets and stay connected to their neighbours and community
  • Remain in familiar surroundings, which is particularly important for those people diagnosed with dementia
  • The person will feel more in control of their life, there is no set routine, only the one the person wants to have
Personal CareWashing
Personal grooming
MedicationEnsuring medication is always taken when necessary
Changing dressings
Domestic SupportChores, shopping
Preparing and cooking food
Physical Support
Visits to the hospital
Visits to Doctor/Dentist
Helping attend social events
Day trips
Flexible help to match your needs
Emotional SupportCompanionship: sharing meals, playing games, watching TV
Social interaction – simply chatting
The security of knowing someone is always there
Providing ChoiceStaying in your own home environment
Deciding how you live your life in your later years
Activities, hobbies and interests you enjoy
Family and friends are free to visit when they want
Favourite foods

The Costs

Cost are a major consideration when it comes to both options. There are three major factors when it comes to working out the costs.

  1. The facilities required each week – if you need regular nursing or dementia assistance then it will cost more than if you need basic personal support
  2. Where the home care service or residential facility is based
  3. If you are entitled to get financial support with all or part of the cost

Our Research

Our research shows that most people prefer to be looked after at home and it wouldn’t surprise most people to know that. Think about it yourself. Wouldn’t you rather stay in a place you feel comfortable and have known for many years, where your pets are, where your neighbours are and where your community is? Residential homes are mostly professional, friendly places to live but their social care resources are stretched and nothing compares to your own space.

Find out more in our article “What Is Live-in Care?

So it makes sense that most people want to stay in their own house as long as they can when they get older. And taking advantage of home care services when they just need a little bit of help – the perfect type of social assistance for seniors. Then later on, maybe, having a carer based permanently in their home, if necessary.

Clearly every circumstance is different, but it is important to consider each and every option in detail. An informed decision is a well-made decision. Everyone should be aware that there is a life-enhancing alternative to a residential home – even for those with dementia or requiring palliative assistance.

Remember that your care, or your elderly relative’s care, is only specific to your life or their life, it is a very personal decision. Get all the information, facts, advice and support you need and make this very personal decision together as a family. Only you know what is right for yourself or your elderly relative.

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Could Live-In Care Be The Best Carer Job For You?

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22 Comments. Leave new

  • Fiona Doonican
    August 8, 2017 4:38 pm

    Another great article. When we were in this situation, we found that live in care was by far the most affordable way to look after 2 frail and elderly parents. They could stay together and loved the fact that someone popped in to ask if they wanted a cuppa regularly. They would have absolutely hated a care home. They just wanted to be with each other.

  • A great informative article. Live in care is a fantastic affordable alternative to a nursing/residential home giving clients the freedom to have a flexible routine at home on a one to one basis ensuring they maintain their independence for as long as possible. Feedback from clients has been that they can live their lives independently enjoying life as they always have done with support and confidence.

  • It’s always nice to see the social setting portrayed by care homes and the activities that they do. However, when you are at home you still have access to all of the same services through day centers and older adults clubs, Also i’d imagine family are probably more inclined to visit their parents at home rather than a care home setting as it’s the ‘family’ home.

  • It’s great to know that there is an affordable alternative to residential care. available and to have options to look at as a family.

  • The level and type of home care services provided by carers varies from client to client. In some cases it will vary on a daily basis – they can help with getting to appointments and social events as well as spending quiet times at home.

  • My dad has reached the stage where he can no longer cope with my mums alzhiemers but he doesnt want to out her into a care home .What does live in care involve and how costly is it.Thankyou

  • If you have home care services your carer can help you stay as fit and mobile as possible. Even when the weather is bad they can still help you move about the house more than you might when on your own.

  • […] to your GP, friends and family or look at home care options. If you get the support you need it can make caregiving as easy as is […]

  • […] with home care if you are struggling to cope. The Live-in Care Hub has plenty of information about homecare services if you do think a little extra help would be […]

  • At stressful times having home care services, where a professional carer can come to your home and help out with caring for your loved one, it can really ease the pressure for the family care-giver

  • HealthCare Forum
    January 16, 2019 7:22 am

    If you’d rather not have a carer living with you it is also possible to receive the same type of home care from a visiting carer. The difference being that the carer wil not be there 24/7 and particularly overnight when they may be needed.

  • Care workers are in high demand when it comes to live-in care and home care services because it is now coming to light that care in the home is a really beneficial form of care for all.

  • […] there are other care options that don’t mean your loved one needs to leave the family home. Home care services can provide help during the day to support the family caregiver and, if necessary, a carer can live […]

  • Assisted living, live-in carers, home care and domiciliary care are all potential alternatives to care home to help your eldlery loved ones have a better quality of life in their later years.

  • You can get help at stressful times by having homecare services where a professional carer can come to your home and help out with caring for your loved one.

  • Carers come at set times during the day – usually two or three times depending on client requirements. Home care services will be tailored to the individual client in order to cater for non-standard situations. For instance the client may have pets and require help with a beloved cat or dog; or they may need help with the upkeep of their garden. All of these services can be provided as part of a tailored care package.

  • For those working in live-in care or providing private homecare services there is the time to provide the best possible care. Of course, what exactly you might do will be highly tailored to the client’s needs.

  • […] of people don't want to leave their home and go into residential care. Fortunately, live-in care or homecare services provided by a live in care agency can provide professional care within your own home. That way you […]

  • I read your article and this article is informative.
    Things to consider before hiring a live-in caregiver:
    The care needs for seniors may become more complex with age, while their families juggle jobs, commitments and care for their own children. The families may decide to hire a caregiver for respite. However, hiring a caregiver can be challenging.

    • Hiring a caregiver can be challenging but this is where organisations like The Live-in Care Hub can help. We offer impartial advice but also a choice of live-in care providers to help make the decision as easy as possible.

  • Good information was shared, thanks for this.


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