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Home Care or Care Home - What's The Difference?

Updated: May 5, 2023


When a loved one begins to age, you may have to consider many things that you have not had to factor in yet. For instance, when you start to think about care over and above what family and friends can provide, what kind of care is best for their situation and when is the right time to introduce care. Seeing a loved one begin to change as they age or as a disease like Dementia takes hold, can be extremely difficult to cope with, which is why it is essential that you have the right support system in place to help you.

Traditionally, care homes are what the vast majority of people chose for their ageing loved ones, however, within recent years that has started to change. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, care homes had a challenging time controlling the rates of infection - care at home is the first, and preferred choice by a growing number of families.

Whilst a lot of people wanted to keep their loved ones living at home, tending to their care needs without additional support, they soon realised how time-consuming and demanding it can be to provide this kind of care. Caring for a loved one can be an amazing thing to do, and is a great way to ensure that their later years are as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

However, providing this kind of care can also take its toll, especially when it is required 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with providing care for a family member, which is why a lot of people transition to finding professional home care.

While residential care can work well as a care route, the fact is that home care can offer a very different approach to care, which is what some people prefer. Wondering if the cost of home care is something that it’s worthwhile? Below we have shared some of the reasons why home care can be highly beneficial and a great alternative to residential care.

In the comfort of your own home


We grow rather attached to our homes, which is why home care can be so beneficial. For older adults who aren’t able to live safely on their own, home care allows them to remain in their homes, in the place where they are most comfortable and content, instead of having to move to an entirely new environment.

Moving to a new environment with new people can be extremely daunting for older adults and can make life rather stressful, which is another reason why home care can be such a good option. Studies have shown that seniors living with a health condition tend to do better and live for longer when being cared for in their own homes as this is where they are most comfortable.

Care that is implemented into your day-to-day routine

We all have our own routines, the ways in which we like to spend our time, and the same goes for older adults. For some older adults, routine changes can be extremely stressful and upsetting, which is why remaining in their own homes, being able to stick to their own routines can be highly beneficial for them.

Moving to a residential care environment where they may have little say over their routine, this in turn can have a detrimental effect on older peoples mental health. Families may think that their loved one will benefit from additional activities or be less lonely, however in practice a team of local care support workers will be able to accompany your family member to community groups, doctors or opticians appointment, or to the supermarket, even for a wander round the local garden centre. PramaCare believe that a large part of maintaining someone's dignity is by ensuring that choices in how to live are not hindered by ability or frailty. By working with a home care agency, the routine can be carefully catered to, making life as enjoyable as possible for them.

Reliable care tailored to you

Another benefit of having home care for an elderly person is the fact that the care received tends to be far more reliable. The fact is that in care environments like care homes, there are vast care teams who share tasks, which means that residents don’t have one set carer, they have all different carers looking after them. This may cause upset for the person being cared for - not feeling like all of their needs are being met, which in turn can hinder the relationship between the client and carer.

Having home care, from a small dedicated team of carers ensures person-centred care on each visit. You could choose to use the same two/three carers, depending on their specific needs, to ensure that they feel comfortable with the people caring for them and are getting a reliable, high-quality service. A great home care service will ensure that communication is the key to successful care delivery.

Providing support where it's needed

Having home care means that you are providing your loved ones with high-quality support that they can count on. Studies have shown that when older people become unwell, being in their home, amongst the things (and people) that make them feel comfortable and content, they tend to heal more quickly. Care at home can provide the ideal amount of support for recovery, handling medication, encouraging people to eat and drink, taking people to medical appointments, liaising with district nurses etc.


What’s great about having a carer who comes and looks after your loved one in their own home is that it allows you to offer support in addition to that of the carer. In a residential care facility you could only visit during visiting hours, whereas in their own home, yourself and relatives could visit whenever, spending as much time with them as you like.

Helps to keep families together

As we get older, we become more vulnerable, which is why being closer to our family is important. For your loved ones who are older, being sent to live in a residential care home can be unsettling, especially if it is far from their family and home. Whereas choosing PramaCare, can give them the support of their family and allow them to spend more time with them.

A lot of older people feel safer and less vulnerable to abuse when surrounded by people they know, which can help to ensure that their quality of life is the best it can be. This is especially true when they feel a bond to their carers and they become a part of the extended family here at PramaCare.

Cost-effective

More often than not, home care works out significantly cheaper than residential care, as the client is only having to pay for the hours of care rather than added extras that residential care homes often charge for. Home carers charge far less than most care facilities, making them a much more affordable option for many people.

Being cared for at home, if its just a couple of pop in calls a week, comprehensive support packages or full time live-in-care, it offers so many benefits for older people and their family members, which is what makes it a great option to look into when considering the right care for your loved one.

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