What Is The Difference Between Live-In Care And 24 Hour Care?


When an elderly parent or relative needs more care, choosing home care services can be a much better option than relocating your loved one to a nursing or retirement home. In-home senior care can help a senior cope much better with their changing circumstances. Usually, a senior will prefer to live at home rather than move to unfamiliar surroundings.

However, if more advanced care is needed than just basic assistance home care, you will usually have to options to choose from:

Live-In Care

24 Hour Care

Both of these services are much better alternatives to a nursing home because they allow a senior to continue living at home and receive care services that they require 24/7. But, it can be difficult to choose which of these services is best.

What is the difference between Live-In Care and 24 Hour care?

Live-In Care

Live-in care involves booking a caregiver for a 24-hour period. The caregiver can only be booked up to 4 or 5 days per week. For the other days, a different caregiver will work the 24-hour periods. A typical example could be that one caregiver works Monday through to Thursday and then the second caregiver will work Friday through to Sunday.

During the 24-hour shift, the caregiver is allowed a 4-hour break. It is up to you to decide whether to have cover for these 4 hours, for an additional cost. However, if you don’t want cover for these 4 hours, then you or another family member can provide cover if required.

The caregiver is allowed an 8-hour sleeping break. A bed for sleeping in has to be provided.

The advantage of Live-in Care is that there are generally only 2 caregivers each week and this provides for a measure of consistency for the senior being cared for.

24 Hour Care

24-hour care is different because caregivers are booked to work and are not allocated breaks during their shift. This works by having either two caregivers on two 12-hour shifts or 3 caregivers on 8-hour shifts. During these shifts, the caregiver is not allocated a sleeping break. You can, depending on circumstances, allow the caregiver to sleep during the night shift. There is a difference in cost if the caregiver is allowed to sleep during the night or not.

The advantage of 24-hour care is that someone will be on hand at all times, even during the night, to provide in-home senior care. This can be particularly valuable for a hospice or critical care situation.

If your senior parent or relative is living at home and receiving home care services, it is important to make sure that you pick the services that will best fill his or her needs.

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