What is the Difference Between Home Care and a Care Home?

When looking for care for a loved one, many people find themselves stuck between choosing a care home or organising home care.

This article aims to help you understand the key differences between home care and care homes and which option may be most suitable for your loved one and their unique situation.

Without further ado, let’s start by giving you a definition of a care home and home care:

Care home: A care home is a residential building where residents are provided 24-hour care by trained healthcare professionals. Usually, care home residents are elderly and require care due to degenerative health conditions associated with ageing.

Home care: Home care is where professional Carers visit clients in the comfort of their own homes to deliver tailored care support. Many home care providers provide care for anyone aged 18 and upwards but there are some providers that specialise in delivering care for a particular age group e.g. over 65's.

What are the key differences between home care and a care home?

The most significant difference between a care home and home care is the location where the care is delivered. With home care, care is delivered within the comfort of your loved one's own home whereas if you opt for a care home, care is provided in a fit-for-purpose residential setting away from your loved one's home. Read more differences between a care home and home care below:

Care Home Home Care
Care is provided in a residential building meaning your loved one will need to move out of their home Care is provided in the comfort of your loved ones own home so they will not have to move
Round-the-clock care is provided Care is only provided during home care visits
Care home fees are charged on a monthly basis Home care fees are charged on an hourly basis
There will be other residents living at the care home and staff to socialise with The client will continue to live with whoever is in their household or alone
The care home will have a weekly activities rota to help keep residents entertained. Carers will be able to support clients with existing hobbies & accompany them on outings
All meals are provided and included in the monthly care home fee Carers will support your loved one with meal prep if agreed but clients are responsible for funding food shops
You will have to book visits to see your loved one unless the care home has an open-door visiting policy You and your loved ones friends and family can pop in to see them whenever you like/arranged between yourselves
Your loved one may have to adjust to a new routine e.g. protected meal times Your loved one can maintain their current routine as visits can work around this
All housework such as cleaning and laundry (in most cases) will be included in the care home fee Your loved one will still have household duties but Carers may be able to support them with these if agreed in their Care Plan

Let's talk costs...

Inevitably, the cost is a huge factor to consider when looking for care for a loved one. So what is the most cost-effective care option, a care home or home care?

Our data shows that the average cost of a residential care home is £1,118 per month whilst the average home care fee is £25 per hour. However, it is important to remember that the cost will vary from home to home and region to region.

Find out more about care home costs and home care costs.

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