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Choosing between a care home vs Home Care

Trying to choose between a care home vs Home Care? If so, this article will help you understand the options available, the differences between them and their advantages and disadvantages.

Everybody’s needs are different. It’s important you have enough information to make your own informed decision to suit you and your loved ones.

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care worker and client who chose between care home vs home care

What elderly care options are available?

When it comes to choosing care and support in later life, there’s no one size fits all. The option that’s right for you and your loved ones depends specific needs and requirements.

Home Care

Home Care is provided in the comfort of the home. A professional Care Worker will visit as much or as little as needed, when needed. This could be in addition to support provided by a family member or friend.

If you choose Home Care with Alina Homecare, we’ll work with you and your loved ones to form a care plan to ensure your requirements are met.

Live-in Care

Live-in Care is a form of Home Care. However, it differs as the Carer moves in and lives with the person who needs care. The Live-in Carer usually works on a two to four week rota basis with another Carer.

When you choose Alina Homecare, we’ll match you with a Live-in Carer who suits your needs. They’ll work to keep you or your loved ones comfortable and as independent as possible.

Care home

A care home is a broad term. It could refer to either a residential home or a nursing home. They may sound similar, but there are key differences to weigh up when considering your choice.

Residential homes offer accommodation and support for people struggling to live independently. They provide a safe environment, assistance for personal care needs and support residents to engage in physical activities.

Nursing homes give medical care to people who need more help than residential homes offer and are staffed by qualified nurses 24 hours a day. When assessing the suitability of a care home or Home Care, medical needs are an important factor.

The advantages and disadvantages of care options

Staying at home versus going into a care home is a big decision and there are many factors to consider. Is Home Care better than a care home? The answer will vary from person to person but it’s good to keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages of each option. This will then allow you to make the choice that fits your needs.

Home Care

The advantages of Home Care:

  • Stay independent at home for many older people, remaining in the home they know and love is better for their emotional wellbeing as it’s where they feel the most comfortable. One study showed 97% of people prefer to spend their later years in their own home 1
  • Home Care can be cheaper – Home Care is often more affordable than staying in a care home. You can also adjust the amount of care received to suit your financial situation
  • Family and friends can visit anytime – whilst a care home has visiting hours and restricted access at certain times, you can receive visitors whenever you wish at home. You can also have relatives stay over and provide supplementary care if you need
  • Bespoke care plans – most Home Care companies tailor care plans to the individual client. This means you have more control over how much care you receive and when you receive it
  • Keep your pet staying in your own home and receiving care means you don’t have to part with a beloved pet. With some Home Care services, your care worker can also help with exercising and feeding your pet

The disadvantages of Home Care:

  • Home modifications might be necessary staying at home if you have a condition or disability can sometimes mean adjustments are necessary such as adding a stairlift, bathroom adaptations or other costly alterations
  • Living at home can be lonely staying at home can sometimes feel lonelier than choosing a care home where there’s round the clock company
  • Not suitable for everyone it’s also important to note that Home Care isn’t always the best option for your individual care needs. If in doubt, contact your local home care providers to find out if they can offer the support you require

Live-in Care

The advantages of Live-in Care:

  • Stay independent at home – having a Live-in Carer allows you or your loved ones to stay comfortable and independent at home, continuing usual routines
  • Form a trusting relationship – with Live-in Care, you or your loved ones will receive support from one or two Carers who will get to know you over time. With Home Care, a range of Care Workers will provide support from within your local Team
  • Around the clock support – having someone there throughout the day means no matter what time you need assistance, your Live-in Carer will be there. This also provides peace of mind, knowing that there’s always someone ready to help

The disadvantages of Live-in Care:

  • Can be more expensive having a Carer around 24 hours a day means the cost is greater than standard care visits
  • Having a stranger in your home having someone you don’t know live at home could be an uncomfortable experience, at least initially
  • Home modifications might be necessary – to cater for certain needs, adjustments may be necessary within the home. This can include a stairlift, bathroom adaptions or other costly alterations

Care home

The advantages of a care home:

  • A care home provides accommodation a care home provides accommodation. For some people, this is a good thing as it means no upkeep or admin as utility bills and household chores are covered in the care home fee
  • Care home staff are always on duty in a care home, staff will always be on duty, ensuring that residents have a secure and supported environment
  • A care home provides constant company – elderly loneliness is a particular problem for some people. However, in a care home, social events are often organised and there are opportunities to create new friendships
  • A care home could provide medical support – this is especially true in nursing homes. If you or your loved ones would benefit from constant medical supervision, consider this when deciding between Home Care or a care home

The disadvantages of a care home:

  • A care home can be more expensive – assess the costs of a care home vs Home Care carefully. Home Care could be the more cost effective option for you
  • A care home mean less privacy if privacy is important and you or your loved ones don’t like sharing living spaces, remaining at home may be beneficial
  • Less independence and control over your care – a care home provide structure and routine but offer less tailored support than Home Care
  • You might not get on with co-residents – just as in any community, not everyone in a care home gets on with each other. Staff will encourage friendly relationships, but inevitably, people occasionally fall out
  • Upheaval – moving into a care home means leaving your local community and home, which can be difficult for some people
  • Ratio of carers to residents – regulations require care homes to deploy sufficient numbers of suitably qualified staff, but there’s no set minimum. It’s crucial to determine what the staffing levels are at any care home you consider

How to decide between a care home vs Home Care

Deciding between a care home vs Home Care can be difficult as there are many factors to consider. The following diagram has been made to help make your decision that little bit easier:

Care Home vs Home Care decision flowchart infographic

Tips for deciding between a care home vs Home Care

No matter what you decide between staying at home versus going into a home, you will need to pick a reputable service provider. Here are some tips to help make your decision:

Check the CQC registration

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates health and adult social care providers to ensure their services meet certain standards. Checking the provider is registered with the CQC can help to ensure that you’re in safe hands with you or your loved one’s dignity and rights respected.

Check reviews

It’s always a good idea to research potential care providers and check their online reviews. You can also talk to medical professionals, friends and community workers in your area.

To help you verify the quality of our service, our Teams welcome reviews on independent sites such as and Google Business.

Personal preference

Care is all about making life easier for you and your loved ones. If in doubt, you can arrange an initial assessment to meet your local Team to understand more about the services offered and discuss your needs.

Check costs of care

Care costs can vary depending on where you live and what care you need, so it’s useful to establish the difference in cost between staying home vs choosing a care home at the start of your search. You can learn more about the cost of care and funding options in our dedicated help pages.

Contact your local council to discuss eligibility for funding or contact one of our local Teams to discuss the cost of paying for private care with Alina Homecare.

Care at Home at Alina Homecare

If you decide a care home is not the right choice but some extra help is needed at home, we can help. We strive to make life easier for you and your loved ones and support you to live as independently as possible.

We offer a range of Home Care services and our friendly Team of dedicated Care Workers will work with you to create a care plan that suits all your needs and preferences.

If you feel you need a bit more help, we also offer a Live-in Care service. One of our fully trained Live-in Carers will move into your home to provide assistance with whatever you need from cooking and cleaning to administering medication.

Contact your local Alina Homecare Team today to discuss any questions you have regarding your care home vs home care options with us!

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1. Live-in Care Hub, “No place like home“, Reviewed 3 October 2023

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