Home Care vs. Care Homes: The Difference Between Home Care and a Care Home

The benefits of home care for your loved one

Are you choosing between home care or care homes for yourself or a loved one? Finding care for a family member or friend is an important decision that requires time, research and planning. Despite home care often being the most cost effective solution, you may still feel stuck choosing between the various options available, or you may be in a crisis and need to source care urgently – for example, if your loved one has just been discharged from hospital. But there are many differences between the types of care available to consider, and home care vs. care home services is the choice people most often have to make. Regardless of what you choose, you should ensure you make a well-informed choice, having explored every option available to you.

What is home care?

 Home care describes care that is provided to you in your own home. This may be that a carer lives with you (live-in care), visits you regularly (visiting care) or provides specialist care, such as or . These care services are tailored to your needs, whether you require assistance with dressing or eating, or need round-the-clock support.

What is it like to have home care?

Depending on whether you opt for , or other , your home care will be very much like your everyday life. Because with home care, you don’t have to leave your home behind – you can continue on as normal, with the safety that your care needs will still be supported. Scheduled for whenever you need it (day or night) you can expect a friendly face, companionship and lots of help with caring for yourself or your loved one.

What is a care home?

Care homes are providers of accommodation, personal care and support for those who need it. Usually care homes fall into two categories: residential and nursing. Some care homes offer both residential and nursing care, and there are care homes which offer day trips and activities too. It’s important to thoroughly research the care homes you may be considering, as well as the other care options that are available.

What is the difference between a residential home and a nursing home?

A residential home provides accommodation and support with personal care, including things like washing, dressing, taking medication and using the toilet. A nursing home will provide this care too, but there will always be at least one qualified nurse on hand. Sometimes referred to as ‘care homes with nursing’, these homes are specially designed to help those who may have a complex medical condition (which requires the help of a qualified nurse) or severe mental or learning disabilities.

What is it like living in a care home?

In a care home, you’ll have your own bedroom where you can store some personal items and make it feel a little more homely. There are communal areas where you can sit, talk with other residents or engage in the activities put on by the care home. Often mealtimes are planned for you, and visiting times depend on the individual care home. There is sometimes an outdoor area to enjoy too, although not all care homes have this facility and access may depend on your type of care. For example, if your medical needs mean you are unable to move without supervision, you may only be able to use the outdoor facilities if a member of staff is available to help.

The benefits of home care

For many, the benefits of home care far outweigh those of a care home. Unlike a care home, our home care services provide our service users with one-to-one, person-centred care in the comfort of their own home, as well as help doing the things they enjoy at home. This could be eating their favourite meal, watching a regular TV programme, getting fresh air on a walk or visiting local parks, regardless of what you need, our carers will be there every step of the way. Our customers receive the undivided attention of our carers throughout the duration of their visit, and we provide regular, real-time feedback on how your loved one is getting on.

We use a mobile app which allows family members to log in and view daily notes after each home care visit, giving you peace of mind and a detailed account of each one. As well as delivering personal care, our carers get to know your loved one, including what they like and dislike, and they will ensure that each visit is tailored to your loved one’s wants and needs. If your family member is supported by community care teams, a home carer will play a vital role in ensuring a holistic approach to their care, and can help with things like medication collection and administration, help accessing community events and accessing other avenues of support.

Leaving the home can be particularly distressing for some people, even more so when this means they have to say goodbye to friends, neighbours and support groups, such as day centres. Alternatively, our home carers are here to ensure our customers can still access these lifelines which are essential in retaining independence and promoting their wellbeing. If you have been considering a care home because your loved one requires continuous care and support, live-in care is a great alternative.

A live-in carer provides one-to-one, round-the-clock, practical and emotional care. They are highly trained in the field of home care and our live-in carers come qualified with experience supporting people in their homes. They help with maintaining a clean and safe living environment, making sure things are done the way your loved one likes. Whether it be cooking their favourite food, or watching their favourite films, our carers provide a kind, caring, and supportive environment for your loved one.

A live-in carer will also help accessing the community and important support resources, including medical appointments, attending social activities, or simply enjoying the outdoors. At Abbots Care, our live-in carers are always delighted to organise trips and activities for our service users, so that they can continue to live life to the fullest. Being able to socialise and enjoy activities freely is another reason why many prefer live-in or visiting care.

Why choose home care with Abbots Care Ltd?

At Abbots Care, we are proud to offer a CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ home care service, one that’s often preferred over residential care. This means that Abbots Care has been inspected by the local government authorities, and after undergoing a thorough review, they have found our care services to be performing exceptionally well – and categorised us in the top bracket for service providers.

Founded in 1995, by mum and daughter Steph and Camille, we are a thriving family-run home care organisation led by an experienced team of Directors and managers, who themselves have worked on the frontline of care. 25 years on, our person-centred values are still deeply rooted in everything we do, and our home carers are trained and qualified to the highest industry standards. We at Abbots Care Ltd. have put our service users in charge of their own choices, worked to further educate and qualify ourselves and our employees, and sincerely care about the people who we have a responsibility to, and we always will. With us you can rest assured that your loved one will receive the same level of care that we would provide for our own loved ones, and no job is too big or too small for our carers.

All of our home care services are bespoke and tailored to fit around the needs of you or your loved one and, if it is your choice, we can include your family in the planning of care. Helping our customers remain in the comfort of their own homes and retain their independence is our number one priority. Whether it’s round-the-clock care or regular care visits throughout the day, our bespoke, one-to-one care and support packages are designed to take the stress off you, so that you can enjoy the moments that matter.

To us, home is somewhere that brings familiarity, comfort and security, and we believe that everyone should have the choice to stay in the place they call home. And it’s not just CQC that think we’re outstanding. In 2020, we were awarded the Top 20 Home Care Providers in the UK. To find out how our home care services could help you, or to speak to our care experts, contact us.

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of challenges to the sector; however, we are proud that, due to excellent infection control processes and business contingencies, our home care service has continued to operate uninterrupted. What’s more, outside of national and regional lockdowns, our customers have still been able to spend time with their dearest family members – something that is so vital to their wellbeing.

Regular testing of our staff keeps the workforce and our customers safe, and we continue to closely follow the latest government guidance. If you are still deciding between home care and a care home and would like to find out about our home care infection control measures, please use the contact details below.


“The Care staff that are supporting my Mum through her care needs are extremely lovely and supportive. Our Mum has cancer and she is receiving the most excellent and caring support from all Staff. We would just like to say a huge thank you as we know that there is more difficult times ahead for us as a family.”

Child of Service User, Buckinghamshire Branch

Get in touch

To speak to a member of our team about the benefits of home care or how home care services can help you or a loved one, please call us on 0330 094 5511 or fill out our contact form. A member of the team will be in touch within 2 working hours.

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