24 Hour Live-in Home Care: What is it, and is it a good idea?

Sep 24, 2020 7 min

24 hour home care is care provided by a carer who lives in your loved one’s home. 24 hour care at home is 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. However, before you hire a carer make sure you discuss your specific needs with the live in home care agency or provider involved.

24 hour care: What are the considerations with Covid-19?

24hr live in care means a carer will move in and live with your loved ones. With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of families are considering 24 hour care for the elderly in their own home as opposed to residential care. If your loved one requires a 24 hour live in carer, 24 hour live-in home care is generally considered to be a safer and more comforting option than a care home. But what if they need care around the clock?

Previously, options were limited to:

  • Arranging for your loved one to stay in 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

Now there’s an increasingly popular alternative: 24 hour live in home care for the elderly. Families are benefitting from 24 hour live in home care as it is safe, provides companionship, is “Covid-secure” and provides dignity to the care recipient.

What is 24 hour home care?

24-hour home care or 24hr live in 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, 24 hour care for the elderly at home provides the level of care that best suits their need.

How much does 24 hour live in home care for the elderly cost?

Considering the fact that care homes and nursing homes often charge upwards of £1000 per week, and 24hr live-in carers charge from £100-£150 per day, live-in care is often more affordable. You may have to pay a little extra if you use a 24 hour live in home care agency for the purposes of an introduction fee.

With 24 hour care, the carer is focused on your loved one alone. 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 24hr 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. Obviously, they will have to rest at times, but these rest times can be flexible and the carer will be in the home for the majority of the time

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However, if your parents are both still living, and both frail, a 24 hour live in carer will be able to provide care for both. 24hr live in care 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 24 hr live-in carer works will depend on whether they are working directly for care agency or self-employed. Many 24 hour 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 24 hr 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 24 hour carers can be brought in for a set number of weeks to help with rehabilitation. Meanwhile, if you want the carer to stay with your relative for a longer period, then longer term 24hr care is what you need.

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 resolve quickly. Here are key advantages of 24 home care for elderly.

24/7 Support

The most obvious benefit to 24-hour home care is that it’s 24-hour! Having someone in the home means prompt and attentive care, day or night.

Falls are a 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 mitigate that risk.

24 hour care at home provides peace of mind

Caring for an ageing relative can be stressful – not only practically, but emotionally. Feelings of guilt and helplessness are common.

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.

24/7 live in care is the key to independence

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 helping your elderly relative retain 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.

Many 24 hour carers can drive and have either own car or driving licence. This can help to get out and about.

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Find out more in Helping your elderly parent give up driving and elderly driving issues.

Familiar surroundings

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. 24 hour home care for dementia patients can be particularly helpful with orientation, familiarity and the presence of reminders and memories.

24 hour care in the home means pets can be looked after

The majority of care homes prohibit 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. This is another benefit you will get with 24 hour live in home care as carers will be able to feed their pets and stroke them. 24hr live in care means animal companionship can be maintained, with all its resultant benefits.


If you hire a 24 hr live-in carer, you will 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. 24 hour live in home care means carers live with an elderly person on a long term basis and strike up a caring, almost familial relationship.

Maintain a social network is easier with 24 hour care at home

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 can be more forced than natural and don’t provide the same level of emotional support.

We know that live-in care might not be for you. If you’re interested in finding out more about 24hr live in care, 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 live-in home care:

hometouch was founded by Dr. Jamie Wilson, an NHS dementia doctor who became frustrated with the limited care options available to his patients. Our team includes healthcare professionals who have care and nursing experience. We offer 24hr live in care and other care packages for elderly people and those with other conditions such as dementia.

Dr Jamie Wilson Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch

Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.

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