Long term care – at home or in a care home?

Long term care – at home or in a care home?

How to choose the right long term care solution for a loved one

Dominique-Kent-GCG-01_300x300Today’s article is from Dominique Kent, Director of Operations at The Good Care Group.

The company provides award-winning care for people in their own homes, whether that’s full time live-in care or a respite service for those caring for a loved one and who require a much needed break. Dominique outlines some of the things to consider when you’re making decisions about long term care..

With an increasing ageing population and the prevalence of specialist conditions that affect older people, such as dementia, many families across the country are faced with decisions about the long term care of a loved one.

What type of care and where to receive it are common concerns, and are generally decisions that affect all the family.

Many believe their only option is to go into residential care and simply do not know where to turn to get expert advice.

But don’t most people want to stay in the safety and comfort of their own homes for as long as possible?

Receiving care and support in your own home from an expert, professional carer is a real alternative to having to endure the upheaval of moving into a care home – something that can be very unsettling and stressful for people in their later years.

Benefits of live-in care

Live-in care has many compelling benefits that significantly enhance lifestyle and overall wellbeing:

  • The ability to live life the way you choose with independence
  • One-to-one, dedicated care highly personalised to an individual’s needs – simply not achievable in a care home
  • Consistency and familiarity of  surroundings is particularly important for a person living with a specialist condition, like dementia
  • Ability to maintain lifestyle interests, friendships and links with your local community
  • Couples are able to stay together as loving partners without the strain of one caring for the other
  • Live-in care is a very cost effective alternative to a residential care home

Whether you are looking for 24 hour live-in care, day care or a short respite to allow you to take that much-needed break from caring for a loved one, a professional carer will provide everything from personal care, domestic support and cooking through to lifestyle support and social activities, through to the management and support of specialists conditions, including dementia, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

So how does live-in care work and what is required?

Following an initial consultation with you and your family to understand your situation, a comprehensive assessment of need will be undertaken which will not only focus on the explicit care needs of the person, but also the lifestyle and social requirements. This ensures the effective matching of a professional carer. It is important of course that you have the opportunity to meet your dedicated carer ahead the service starting.

The carer will live in your home and provide 24 hour care and support. Some home care providers are simply introduction agencies, and once the carer is living in your home you will manage the relationship and pay the carer directly.

It may however be preferable to enlist the services of a reputable live-in care provider who will manage the service, employ the carer directly and provide the family with support and guidance.

Typically there will be a team of two professional carers who will work a specific rota pattern that is best suited to the person’s needs, but that ensures carers get sufficient rest time, so they can deliver the very highest standards of care. The person receiving care has the opportunity to build a strong, long term relationship with the dedicated care team who truly understand their holistic needs.

If you intend to use the services of a live-in care provider it is important to research a range of providers.  Below are some questions you may wish to consider:

  • Will my carer have care experience?
  • How well trained will my carer be – what ongoing training will they receive?
  • Will my carer have any professional qualifications?
  • If you are looking for care for specialist conditions, like dementia, how experienced will the carer be and would they have received specific training?
  • How will my carer be managed by you?
  • What do I do if I have a problem?
  • What support do you provide for me and my family?
  • And finally ask to review the Care Quality Commission’s (the care regulator) latest service inspection report to ensure the provider is compliant.

Good Care Group logo JPEGFor more information about live-in care, please contact The Good Care Group on 08000 234 220 – one of our specialist care advisors is there to help you.  Or visit www.thegoodcaregroup.com


Care To Be Different does not endorse any one specific supplier or provider, and there are other providers available.


  1. Paige Hawin 4 years ago

    A great article Dominique. I do think most people panic when they think that a care home is their only option. I think this option brings with it a sense of guilt for family members. Moreover, it causes such distress to the elderly. It must be quite frightening to leave everything that once gave you comfort. Live-in care is such a wonderful alternative. Many take the comfort of familiarity for granted. Just because a loved one needs help and support doesn’t mean they completely lose their independence. They can still retain it by living at home.

  2. We tend to find that its swings and roundabouts for care either at home or in a care home. With having the care in their own home often people are left alone. At least in a home they have the opportunity to socialise. But I guess its really down to the individual.

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