Care home vs. live-in care – Everything you need to know

Posted on 24 May 2019

When someone you love and care for is no longer able to live safely alone, it can be difficult to determine the next best steps with so many different care options available. Care homes and live-in care are popular options for many and both offer specialist, round-the-clock care with professional caregivers. However, depending on you or your loved ones’ individual needs, one option may be more suitable than the other.

With this in mind, we’ve summarised the key differences between care homes vs live-in care and everything else you should consider before making a final decision:


Care home

  • Several members of staff are always on-hand to assist; giving loved ones family’s peace of mind.
  • Social stimulation – care homes provide residents with a large sense of community and are rarely alone, providing resident’s with constant social stimulation.
  • Specially trained staff who are medically trained to provide care for all levels, from residential and nursing, to dementia and respite care.

Live-in care

  • One-to-one care means your loved one has a dedicated carer, with whom they can build strong rapport.
  • It can take time to find the right carer for a loved one – despite having the right qualifications, you may find that the carer you’ve selected isn’t as suited to your loved one’s needs as you originally thought.
  • More suited to individuals who have lower level care needs


Care home

  • Costs are clear and reviewed regularly – how much you pay will depend largely on the level of care needs and location can have some impact, but generally speaking the cost of care homes are usually easy to understand.
  • Costs include bills, maintenance costs, meals, housekeeping services and general day-to-day care.
  • You can apply for funding help if your full assets are below £23,250

Live-in care

  • Costs can vary significantly depending on the individuals’ needs
  • You still have the cost of maintaining your property, as well as having to possibly adapt it to make it suitable for live-in care
  • Employer responsibilities – if you hire a live-in carer privately, you legally become an employer, which can have further legal and financial responsibilities.


Care home

  • Specially designed areas to keep residents safe, as well as provide a homely feel and social stimulation.
  • Lots of services can be provided onsite, from GPs to hairdressers.
  • Residents can maintain their independence while also taking part in everyday care home life – providing the best of both worlds.
  • Dedicated lifestyle & activity co-ordinators
  • The ability to personalise their own space so that they can settle into their new home

Live-in care

  • Provides familiar surroundings
  • Not as much dedicated social interaction as there is scheduled in at a care home
  • Additional support aids to ensure safety are often required

Food & nutrition

Care home

  • Tailored nutrition for every resident’s needs
  • Daily freshly cooked meals, taken care of by a team of qualified chefs
  • Regular meal times to help establish a familiar routine
  • All meals are included in the care home fees

Live-in care

  • Meals must be planned out by the carer or arrange for services
  • Food shop/delivery has to be arranged and paid for separately

Final considerations

In conclusion, there are multiple factors which are likely to affect your final decision, but there are lots of resources and support organisations which can help you do so.

If you do decide that a care home is more suitable for a loved one, the staff will be able to answer all your questions about what to expect and any concerns you have, to help you understand what life in the home will be like for your loved one.

Here at Oaklands our team work carefully with you and your loved ones to build a care plan that will allow your loved one to carry on with their life as normally as possible. Our team want make the transition into our home as comfortable as possible and will provide you with detailed advice on the process of moving and settling in at Oaklands.

If you have more questions about care home vs live-in care or would like to find out more about the care offered at Oaklands, please get in touch with a member of staff here.