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Home Care vs. Care Homes – The Pros And Cons

Home Care vs. Care Homes – The Pros And Cons

By Francesca | 18th January 2022

Home Care vs. Care Homes – The Pros And Cons

For anyone who needs support with everyday tasks, it can be difficult to decide what’s best. Perhaps you are struggling to cook meals or keep your home clean, but you may be reluctant to move into a residential care home. Don’t worry. There are plenty of options out there. You might benefit from a form of home care, such as live-in care or domiciliary care visits. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of home care vs. care homes to help you make the best choice, whether for yourself or on behalf of a loved one.

Home Care vs. Care Homes – What’s The Difference?

Firstly, we’ll break down the differences between care homes and home care. A care home is a residential home which provides accommodation and care for elderly people. Care home staff can help residents with tasks like washing, dressing, taking medicines, and going to the toilet. Home care, on the other hand, is where you receive support from a carer in your own home. The carer could be someone you know, such as a relative, or a professional.

Benefits of Home Care

Home care is a very popular option amongst elderly people and it can come in many forms. Read more about the different kinds of home care services here.


The flexibility of home care means that it really can be tailored to the person’s needs. The care user can therefore be supported in the ways that are most suited to them. This could mean as little as a weekly visit from a carer to help with the shopping, or it could mean having a live-in carer who provides 24/7 support. You can also request a medically trained carer who can administer medication care for someone with specific medical needs.

What’s more, if your needs change in the future, you’ll be able to adapt your home care service to suit you. It could be as easy as increasing the number of domiciliary home care visits you have. Of course, you could decide later that you want to move into a care home. However, if you choose a care home based on your current needs and then your condition changes, it may be difficult to find the right care without moving home again.

The Personal Touch

Most home care services, including Abing Homecare, work hard to find the right carer for you. You’ll be able to make specific requests to help you find a carer who’s a perfect match for you. For example, you might request a carer who has access to a car, who knows sign language, or who likes animals. This personal touch is one of the biggest benefits of home care.

Happier and Healthier at Home

A number of studies have shown that older people are significantly happier when receiving care at home. In fact, a 2014 poll revealed that 97% of people do not want to move into residential care when they are older. The benefits of home care extend to both mental and physical health too. Hospital admissions are higher among care home residents than elderly people living at home. The Good Care Group has published a detailed report on this topic, showing the reduction in a variety of hospital admissions from people with support at home compared to those in care homes.


People with specific needs and conditions like dementia can really benefit from staying at home. One of the biggest benefits of home care is living in a comfortable setting, surrounded by your own belongings and memories. In addition, home care allows the person to keep following their own daily routine as much as possible. It is a lot harder for people to feel independent when they live in a care home. Staying at home means that they can carry on with daily life whilst still getting the extra help that they need.

Being able to stay at home also means that they remain close to family, friends, and neighbours. Therefore, as well as having support from their carer, they can also be supported by their own community. Knowing the people around them can help an older person maintain their confidence and combat feelings of isolation or loneliness.

Home Care: Things to Consider

The benefits of home care are clear. But are there any downsides? Next, we’ll discuss a few things you should consider before arranging home care.

Is Your Home Fit For Purpose?

In order to stay in your home, you might need to make some adjustments. This could be as simple as installing grab rails around the shower and bath, or a bigger investment like a stairlift. If you need to make some adaptations to help you stay in your home, don’t be discouraged by the costs. There are several government and charity grants you can apply for to help you fund these modifications.

Finding the Right Match

While most home care providers will do everything they can to match you with a carer who is suited to your needs, it will always take some time to adjust to a new person in your home. Whether you opt for live-in care or domiciliary care, it will take a little while to get used to a new routine. However, this would also be the case for anyone moving into a care home.

Benefits of a Care Home

If living at home is no longer a viable option, you may choose to move into a care home. There are different kinds of care homes; residential homes provide accommodation and personal care, while nursing homes always have a nurse on duty and provide nursing care too.


Firstly, moving into a care home gives you a chance to meet new people and stay social. There may be organised activities and outings to help you stay active and avoid boredom. If you are feeling isolated at home, this could be ideal.


Next, living in a care home could give you a stable routine. With regular attention from carers, you won’t need to worry about preparing meals, doing household chores, or remembering to take medication.


Finally, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regularly assesses all care homes in the country. If you are thinking about moving into a care home, make sure to check its rating on the CQC website. Each inspection includes a rating for safety, effectiveness, care, responsiveness, and leadership.

Care Home: Things to Consider

Moving from your own home into residential care is a huge step. It’s important to be aware of all the facts before you make a decision.

Staying Local

If you have a condition which requires specialist care, it may be difficult to find a suitable care home near to where you live. This could mean travelling further away than you would like or adding your name to a waiting list for a home near you. Care homes with the best ratings are more likely to have waiting lists.

Safety Rules

A care home’s job is to protect its residents. As such, many homes have rules for residents and visitors. Most of us are used to setting our own daily routines – getting out of bed when we choose, showering or bathing when we choose, eating when we choose. In a care home setting, carers may have to make these decisions for you. It’s important to ask about day-to-day life in a care home before you make your decision. If possible, try to arrange a visit. Otherwise, call the home and ask staff these questions over the phone. Age UK has a comprehensive list of questions you may wish to ask.


Currently, the monthly average cost of residential care is £2,816, while nursing care in a care home costs an average of £3,552 per month. In London, both these figures are nearly double. In contrast, domiciliary care costs as little as £19 per visit. Lots of older people in the UK live on a fixed income. You may be eligible for financial support from the council, but you’ll usually still have to pay towards the overall costs. If you require nursing care, the NHS may pay some or all of your care fees under the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme.

Which? has a handy tool which helps you estimate how much you might need to spend on a care home. It will also help you work out whether you’re eligible for assistance.


Even for those who can afford it, moving into a care home is a very big change. Adjusting to new surroundings and a new routine can be stressful and, as we know, stress can have an impact on both physical and mental health. A report by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) suggests that around 2 in 5 care home residents have a form of depression.

Home Care vs. Care Homes

So there you have it: we’ve discussed the benefits of home care and care homes, as well as things to bear in mind for each. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the best option for you. We’d recommend speaking to your family and friends to get their opinions and support before you make a decision.

We offer a range of home care services. These include live-in care, domiciliary care, and temporary respite care. We understand the importance of choosing the right support for you, which is why we offer a free Needs Assessment to help you find the best solution. To book your Needs Assessment or find out more about our services, call 0800 008 7000 today.


Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 18th January 2022 to reflect current information.