Home Care Services vs. Live-in Caregivers: What Are the Pros and Cons?

Home Care Services vs. Live-in Caregivers: What Are the Pros and Cons?

Posted by Declan Davey

Home Care Services vs. Live-in Caregivers: What Are the Pros and Cons?

Home care vs. care homes is the debate that you’ll often hear seniors and their families have to weigh up.

Given the choice, most prefer to remain in familiar surroundings. But what types of home care services are available? And when does hiring a full-time, live-in caregiver make sense?

The difference between Home care and Live in care services

In today’s blog, we’ll examine the pros and cons of regular home care services, live-in care, and care homes, so that you can get a better idea of which option might be best for you.

What Is Live-in Care... and Is It Better Than Moving to a Care Home?

Recent surveys suggest that over 75% would be happy to access care in their own homes.

It makes sense, then, that more seniors are exploring the option of hiring live-in caregivers, so that they can remain at home.

In this type of care, a 24/7 caregiver lives in a room of your home. It can serve as a fantastic alternative to regular home care, particularly for those with more significant health needs.

Regular home care services are usually provided on an hourly or half-hourly basis, either daily or several times a week. This is sufficient for some but others may need a more comprehensive, live-in level of support.

Aside from functional tasks like meal preparation and cleaning, a live-in caregiver also offers companionship...

Having a companion around can be very helpful to maintain wellbeing, as loneliness becomes more of a risk in older age.

A live-in caregiver’s role will vary depending on who you hire, but here is a general list of services you can expect:

  • Day and night care
  • Household tasks: laundry, shopping, cooking, ironing
  • Personal care: bathing, shaving, dressing, continence
  • Medication management
  • Emotional support
  • Help with moving around
  • Light housework
  • Admin and finance tasks
  • Planning health and leisure appointments
  • Mobility assistance and companionship on outings

Home Care vs. Live-in Caregivers vs. Care Homes: The Pros and Cons

There are different advantages of choosing a regular home care service, a live-in caregiver, or a care home, depending on the level of help you need. 

And when in doubt, it’s always smart to make a pros and cons list…

We promise to not make the lists too long!

Pros and Cons of Regular Home Care Services


      • Most popular option among seniors who need care
      • Shown to be better for wellbeing than moving to a care home
      • Tasks can be tailored to your needs (e.g. shopping, cleaning)
      • Possible to scale level of care hours over time
      • Opportunity to socialise with different carers


        • 24/7 support not available
        • Having different carers enter the home may be confusing
        • Upkeep of the home (e.g. bills, repairs) is still your responsibility
        • Carers’ busy schedules can result in care that feels rushed
        • Level of companionship not as thorough as live-in care

        Pros and Cons of Live-in Care


          • More personalised than standard home care services
          • Can remain in your own home
          • Get round the clock support 
          • Balances safety with independence
          • Opportunity for friendship with a trusted 24/7 companion
          • One-to-one care can promote improvements in wellbeing
          • Enjoy assistance with housekeeping
          • Allows couples or families to stay living together 


            • A spare room will need to be offered to a live-in caregiver
            • Updates or modifications to the home may be required (e.g. handrails or stairlifts)
            • Not suitable for those with complex medical needs

            Pros and Cons of Care Homes


              • Less hassle as you don’t need to maintain or clean the home
              • 24/7 staff in a secure care setting 
              • Peace of mind for families 
              • The chance to socialise with other residents
              • Organisation of meals and medication 


                • Moving into a new home can be stressful
                • May create fear due to how care homes are perceived
                • Not able to remain as independent as living at home
                • Less quality one-to-one staff time than with a live-in caregiver
                • Possibly distressing to see other residents with more severe health needs 

                Home Care for Dementia

                Care homes have long been viewed as the go-to for those needing support after a dementia diagnosis. 

                But the number of home care services and agencies that are specialised in dementia continues to grow. 

                There’s now a greater amount of flexibility in how you can access care...

                Having a carer from an agency pop round once or twice a day to help with bathing or meals may be enough to keep you independent. 

                If you want to stay at home but need extra support, opting for a live-in caregiver is a great option to go ahead with.

                How Many Home Care Agencies Are There in the UK?

                Autumna has over 11,500 home care and live-in care providers listed on its site.

                Monday to Sunday, We’re Here to Help...

                For further information on live-in care or other home care services, you can give our friendly team a call on 01892 335 330.

                Book a Call Back (Care Advice):

                Click here

                If you prefer email, you’re welcome to send us a message at info@autumna.co.uk.

                Thanks go to Declan Davey (Health Copywriter) for co-authoring this article.

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