24 hour home care is care provided by a carer who lives in your loved one's home. It's a good idea because it generally costs less, is less stressful for your loved one, and the care is specialised to your loved one's individual needs.
If your loved one requires care, live-in home care is generally considered to be a better solution than a care home. But what if they need care around the clock?
Previously, options were limited to:
- Sending your loved one to a care home
- Moving them into your home
- Doing your best to keep them safe in their own home, and hoping they don't have a fall
What is 24 hour home care?
24-hour home care means an external carer will move into the home of your loved one and care for them around the clock. The carer will be able to help with all activities and provide company throughout the day. If your loved one is often restless during the night, or prone to wandering, then the carer will be on hand to keep an eye on things during the night. A carer can provide transport to and from appointments and social events, helping your loved one to stay active and get out of the house.
Most importantly, as your loved one ages and their condition deteriorates, their carer will be able to adapt to provide the level of care that best suits their needs.
How much does 24 hour live-in care cost?
Considering the fact that care homes and nursing homes often charge upwards of £1000 per week, and live-in carers charge from £100-£150 per day, live-in care is often more affordable.
With live-in care, you also get value for money. Carers working in care homes have a certain number of residents to look after every day, so your loved one may well have to wait until the carer is available to assist them. A live-in carer will be on hand to provide care for your loved one whenever they need it, and they won't have to divide their attention between multiple people.
However, if your parents are both still living, and both frail, a live-in carer may well be able to provide care for both. This is a much more cost-effective option as care homes always charge per resident.
How does 24 hour live-in care work?
The exact hours a live-in carer works will depend on whether they’re part of a care agency or self-employed. Many live-in carers work 7-day weeks for a set amount of time, and then take a week off, for example, 4 weeks on, 1 week off.
Carers will work long days to ensure they’re able to give support whenever it’s needed, but they will also take breaks during the day. The carer and your loved one will generally work out a routine that works best for both sides, and there’s generally not a fixed schedule.
You can hire a live-in carer for the long or the short-term. This means that if your loved one has sustained an injury and is temporarily unable to care for themselves, a live-in carer can be brought in for a set number of weeks to help with rehabilitation.
What are the advantages of 24 hour home care?
24-hour home care can take a little getting used to, but any early teething problems generally dissolve quickly.
The most obvious benefit to 24-hour home care is that it’s 24-hour! Having someone in the home means instant care, day or night.
Falls are a massive risk for the elderly (1/3 people aged 65+ fall each year in the UK, 1/5 of which lead to serious injury) and having someone living in can alleviate that risk.
Peace of mind
Caring for an ageing relative can be a huge stress factor – not only practically, but emotionally. Feelings of guilt and helplessness are not uncommon.
One of the biggest benefits of 24-hour home care is that it can provide peace of mind, knowing your loved one is in safe hands and a familiar environment.
Frailty often leads to falls, which can lead to disability, which can lead to isolation. Add to this the fact that most elderly people have to give-up their driving license at some point, and it's not surprising that loss of independence is a common fear for elderly people.
Hiring a 24 hour home carer means giving your elderly relative their independence. It means your loved one can choose when to eat, when to shop and when to have a cup of tea. They might seem like small things, but when these simple choices are taken away they become a big deal.
Change can be positive, but a lot of the changes that face older people are negative.
24 hour home care means your loved one can stay at home, in familiar surroundings. This is important when it comes to maintaining a solid sense of identity and self. It’s also particularly important for dementia sufferers, for whom any change can be overwhelming and confusing.
The majority of care homes ban pets, so elderly people moving into a home would have to give up their (usually) furry companion. The benefits of elderly people having pets is well-documented, as they can help with a huge range of afflictions from high blood pressure to depression.
If you hire a live-in carer, you have one-on-one bespoke support from one individual, and it’s much easier for the carer and your elderly relative to form a trusting relationship. Many carers live with an elderly person for the rest of their lives and strike up a very caring, almost familial relationship.
Maintain a social network
Having an established support network of friends and family plays a critical role for older people. 24-hour home care allows your loved one to retain that support network as much as possible, giving them the care they need without uprooting them.
If you moved your loved one into a care home, that support network would be diminished, as close friends and family might visit, but many people wouldn’t. Although many older people do form friendships in a care home environment, these tend to be more forced than natural and don’t provide the same level of emotional support.
At HomeTouch we’re vocal supporters of home care in all its forms, whether pop in or round the clock. We believe that home care offers the best solution in the vast majority of cases, allowing older people to maintain their dignity and independence while giving their families peace of mind.
However, we know that live-in care might not be for you. If you're interested in finding out more you can follow the links below or download our free and impartial Definitive Home Care Guide. It provides information on the different types of care, the pros and cons of each, the costs, and important considerations.
Find out more:
- Understanding live-in care
- Changes in behaviour that require a live-in carer
- What does a live-in carer need?
- Live-in care vs Care home
- How much does live-in care cost?
- Is live-in care right for me?
- Choosing a live-in carer