Companions of London

Your care is our care

Thursday 12th of October 2017

Phone Number: 020 3519 8001

Email Address: [email protected]

Should I choose Home Care or a Care Home?

When you decide that you need help at home you will need to decide if you should choose between home care, live-in care or relocating to a care home. Each option will depend on your individual situation. Deciding on the care you need is a big choice to make. We have complied a guide for people who are wondering what type of care is best for them.

Should I choose Home Care or a Care Home

What options are available to you?

Most people would prefer to remain at home for as long as possible. When we live in familiar surroundings, we feel connected to our community and friends. Living at home gives us the independence that we need to feel as though we are in control of our lives and can continue our routines. But when we get older we soon find that we need additional help with some of the tasks that we need to complete in every day life.

Home care is a great option for elderly, disabled or vulnerable adults who wish to remain living at home. Assisted living offers help at home for as long or as little as you require. Choosing a home care agency to help you is a cheaper alternative to moving to a care home

Live-in care is available for disabled or vulnerable adults who may require assistance at any time of the day or night. A live-in carer will stay in your home with you and be available to help with any jobs around the house as well as provide your personal care. This is another option for people who wish to remain at home.

Moving into a care home is an option available for people who require full time care and may need help at any time of the day and night. You will need to move out of your home but you will become a resident with other people. This can provide a social environment with organised activities.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of moving into a care home?

There are two main types of care home: 

  • Care homes that provide personal care and assistance without nursing care.
  • Care homes which offer 24 hour nursing care. This is offered along with the personal care and assistance offered by carers.

Some care homes offer specialist care such as helping people with Alzheimer's and dementia.

Advantages of a care home

  • There are always trained staff available to help
  • There are many other residents to keep you company
  • The staff will organise events and activities
  • You have no household chores, meals or bills to take care of
  • You will be safe and secure

Disadvantage of a care home

  • It can be too expensive for many people
  • You will have to fit all of your belongings into a single room
  • You may not feel as independent as when you lived at home
  • You may not be allowed to bring your pets
  • Other residents may not provide the company that you enjoy

What are the advantages and disadvantages of receiving home care?

Home care can be provided per hour when you need it or as live-in care.

  • You will receive regular visits from a home care worker who will help with preparing meals, shopping and personal care.
  • There are many local day centres where you can enjoy socialising and taking part in activities.
  • You can also make use of other services such as monitored personal alarms, meals on wheels and household adaptions.

Advantages of home care

  • You will be able to remain living in your own home
  • You will stay in contact with neighbours, friends and family who live locally
  • Your payments towards care do not include the value of your home as part of the calculation
  • You remain in familiar surroundings with your regular routines
  • You have complete control over your care and support 

Disadvantage of home care

  • You may feel alone when the carer is away
  • There may be risks from being alone
  • It may feel uncomfortable having care workers come into your home

Comparing the costs of home care and care homes

The costs of home care and care homes vary depending on where you are in the country. It is worth getting in contact with your local social services department to discover the average price of care where you live. You should investigate all options available to you including the ways that you can fund your long term care.

You can also find information about local home care services to you by contacting charities or disability groups. In some cases, you may be able to have some of your care costs paid by the local authority. You will need to find out whether you are entitled to any benefits to assist with your long term care costs.

If you are thinking of using a private home care agency you will need to contact them yourself and find out the information from them.

Care home costs

The costs of care homes vary throughout the country. On average, the cost of staying in a residential care home is:

  • £29,270 per year for personal care and assistance without nursing care
  • £39,300 per year 24-hour nursing care with the personal care and assistance

There may be additional costs for therapies, hairdressing, day trips or other services. Make sure that you understand what is included in the cost of your care home fees.

This calculator can help you to work out how much it will cost to stay in a care home where you live.

Home care costs

The costs of home care will depend on where you live in the country. It will also be different if you require full time live-in care or a few hours a week. Home care offered throughout the night and over weekends may also cost more.

  • If you require short term home care visits, you should budget for £15 per hour
  • A 14 hour week of home care will cost on average £11,000 per year
  • Full time home care throughout the day will start from £30,000 per year
  • Live-in care which is available 24 hours a day will work out more expensive than moving into a care home. The average cost of home care around the clock is £150,000 per year.

You will still need to cover the costs of maintaining your home whist you are receiving help at home. But you will benefit from increased independence and living within familiar surroundings.

Further information