Very often people are not aware of the difference between live in care and 24 hour care. Often live in care is advertised as 24 hour care adding further confusion. Then the clients feel mis-led when they realise that no one person can work 24 hours a day without a break.

The difference is worth discussing to make it clear.


24 hour care is what it sounds, this means care around the clock, when needed, 24 hours a day. This is for someone who may need regular attention during the night and in many cases it is not safe to leave this kind of client unattended for anything other than short periods. 24 hour care requires a team of carers to be able to provide care when needed around the clock. In some cases this is possible with two live in carers provided the care needs are not too high.

Live in care is where the carer lives with the person they are caring for. They help the client with their daily routine to be able to live independently. This may include helping the client to get up in the morning, preparing meals, taking them out for social events and also being around to be a friend and a companion.

Just because the carer is living with the client, this does not mean they should be working around the clock. The carer needs a period of time each day when they are able to rest, be free to go out if they would like to, and switch off from the role of being a carer. They also need to be able to get a good nights sleep. Whilst the carer may be “on duty” outside of their free time and available to help if needed, they are not expected to be kept busy. Whilst the occasional night call is part of being a live in carer, if this becomes too frequent then the carer needs help.  Different agencies have different policies but our policy is that if there is more than one night call on a regular basis then help is required to cover during the night.

Do feel free to explore how you could become a carer with careleaf or how we can help provide live in care.