Making the Choice between Live-in Care and Care Homes

When our loved ones get older, it can be difficult for friends and family members to provide the help they need, especially if specialist care is required. For individuals living with conditions like dementia, around-the-clock care and attention is often needed but not always provided due to a lack of time, leading families and friends to make the choice of arranging professional full-time care for their loved one.

Although residential care homes are usually the most obvious choice of care, a live-in carer can also provide help and support for those who need it. Both types of care are suitable for your loved one and there’s no right or wrong way to provide care; after all, it’s about what’s best for your loved one. As it can be a difficult choice to make, we’ve outlined what each type of care entails.

Live-in Care

A live-in carer doesn’t always have to live in the same house all the time; live-in care can be occasional visits but also 24hour care depending on the needs of the individual. As all the care takes place in your loved one’s home, it means they can stay in a familiar environment with all their home comforts around them. For individuals living with dementia, this is especially important as it doesn’t disrupt their routines and enables them to stay comfortable.

This type of care can cover anything, from personal care and hygiene, to cooking and housekeeping. Live-in carers can also provide support with administering medication and helping with more complex mobility aids such as hoists or ventilators. Additionally, a live-in carer is ideal for helping with companionship, particularly if your loved one’s partner has passed away and they’re living alone.

Although it may seem like a major step having someone new in your or your loved one’s home, most live-in care services have a trial period to help everyone get used to the idea.  Some services also get to know the individual requiring the help, to find a carer who may share similar interests and has the right personality for you or your loved one.

Care home

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of a carer being in your loved one’s home, another option is to relocate to a residential care home. Although this means moving you or your loved one away from a familiar environment, care homes can have a real community feel to them. Most care homes are decorated in a style which is familiar and comforting for their residents, which helps them to feel more at home.

Another positive of care homes is the around-the-clock care which the residents receive. With a number of staff members always ready to help, it’s reassuring to know that your loved one will have support night and day when they need it. This is especially important for individuals with severe dementia who may need more attention.

Whilst it can be difficult moving from a house and neighbourhood which holds lots of memories and comfort, living in a care home environment with several other people can help to relieve feelings of loneliness and isolation. You or your loved one could make new friends with the other residents, whilst the activity sessions run by staff can help to keep busy and entertained.

Whichever type of care you choose for yourself or your loved one, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. If you’re choosing for someone else, see which they prefer but also take into account factors like budget, how much care they’ll need and how they manage with that type of care. It may seem difficult to choose, but with the right support and advice, you can find the care which suits you or your loved one the best.