Care Home vs Home Care –
what is the difference?


back to Homecare Planning

Most of us want to get old in our own homes surrounded by the things we know and love. As we get older, we make small adjustments to our homes but confronting our old age is never easy. It is often not until we are admitted to hospital after a fall or illness that we are forced to concede that in order to stay at home we need some help. But is home the right place for us as we get older or should we go into a care home?

The most important things that keep us ageing well are being active and sociable. The increasing loneliness and isolation that many of us face in old age are going hand in hand with increased levels of dementia and Alzheimer’s. When deciding what to do it is important to keep this in mind but finding the right solution will depend on our personal circumstances, health, and character.

Advantages of Home Care.

Several recent studies have shown that care at home has a positive impact on a person’s wellbeing and that person-centred care at home improves people’s quality of life and health outcomes. Read more on what you can expect from your home carer.

Reduce stress/increase stability.

Staying at home means there is no need to go through the stress and upheaval of a house move. You can maintain your routines and know where everything is. Your network of support remains the same, whether that’s the doctor you’ve seen for years or the friendly postman. During any periods of confusion, we can re-orientate ourselves quicker and the experience is less overwhelming and frightening.

Stay independent

It is easier to maintain our independence at home as we stay close to what’s familiar to us and can keep to our own routine and make our own choices of who looks after us, what care they provide and how often they come. Having to do things for ourselves, whether this is to walk to the shop for the newspaper or make a cup of tea, forces us to stay active for longer. TrustonTap carers will know when to step in and help and when to remain a reassuring presence in the background.

Keep your friends and continue doing the things you enjoy

Being at home enables us to carry on seeing friends and family when we like and do the things we enjoy for as long as possible. Your beloved pets can continue living with you to help maintain your wellbeing. Many of TrustonTap’s carers drive and have their own cars so can take their clients to activities or encourage them to try something new.

Flexible and Individual Care

At TrustonTap we know continuity of care is critical and we see that as one of the most important elements of care at home. Good care is all about good relationships and being able to build up knowledge and trust. Care at home allows us to have dedicated one-to-one care from someone who has time to get to know us. Home care can easily supplement the care provided by family and be structured to fit around this. It can also be built up as and when is needed.

Save Money

Home care can be targeted to those times of the day when we really need it. For more information, see our articles ‘How much does it cost to have a carer? ‘What financial help can I get for my Care and Support?’ and ‘Paying for your own care’

Less commitment

As well as a long-term solution, Home Care can be used as an interim solution to give us time to consider all our options. The care can be put in place quickly – TrustonTap aims to have carers in place within 48 hours – and is very consistent. It also gives us time to work out exactly what it is that we need and will often be the solution that is of the most benefit.

Downsides to Home Care.

Modifications to the home

In order that the home is safe and practical, the house may need several alterations. For further information, do look at our articles ‘How to make your home safer’ and ‘Equipment and Adaptations’

Complex care

Certain care needs are more difficult to be handled at home easily, such as double-handed care, where two carers are required to lift a person.

Advantages of a Care Home.

Care homes provide guaranteed around the clock care

There is always someone around if needed. All arrangements for care and nursing are organised by the care home.

Care homes provide social interaction

Care homes do organise interaction with other residents which may reduce isolation. Maintaining hobbies and local activities for individuals is critical for overall wellbeing.

Care Homes will look after all your loved ones needs

At a care home, you will not need to worry about utility bills, meals and household chores.

Downsides to Care Homes.

Care Homes are expensive

The average cost of a residential care home in the UK in 2017/18, was £32,344 a year although this does vary around the country. LaingBuisson Market Report in 2018 estimated the cost of Residential Care for someone with Dementia in the South East as £38,844 a year.

Loss of privacy and independence

As care homes are looking after many clients with different needs their rules may be prohibitive to your loved one, as they need to look after everyone’s safety collectively. In some care homes, you may feel you have lost some independence and privacy. Also, couples are often not allowed to be in the same room together. Care can be less personalised.

When 24/7 does not mean that

Even in a care home, you can spend a lot of time alone in your room. If you get up in the night disorientated and fall, there will not be anyone in your room and unless you are able to activate an alarm you may not get help until the morning. Some families find themselves having to stay with their loved in the care home during the night.

Frustration with other residents

In a care home, you will be encouraged to get along with everyone, which may be difficult if you do not enjoy their company. As 80% of care home residents have some form of dementia, it is not surprising that it can be challenging at times.

Residents health may decline more quickly in a care home

Recent studies have found that a move to a care home away from your familiar surroundings can cause a decline in overall health. As we age, the familiarity of our home provides a degree of comfort in an increasingly confusing world.

Getting help with decisions about care

Deciding whether home care or residential care is right for you depends on your needs and is something that should be considered carefully. Everyone is entitled to a local authority ‘Needs assessment’ which can help you make the right decision.

If you are thinking about the best care solution for a loved one, you may find it difficult first broaching the subject. See our article ‘Starting the conversation on care’. You may find it valuable to talk to us and to meet a TrustonTap carer that lives nearby in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire.