If you had the choice between staying in your own home or living in care home what would you choose? The answer for almost all of us would be to stay in our home. Very often, circumstances in our life change and due to sickness or old age we are not able to take care of ourselves at home and require help. In many cases there is not a friend or relative available to provide the care that we need and help is required from outside. For those of us with a higher level of care needs, we are required to choose between having a live in carer or going to a residential care home. That is, for those of us who are aware that live in care is an option.

Live in care is still not well known to be an option in the UK. We have been surprised by the amount of conversations we have had with people who haven’t even heard of it as a possibility, and these people go to a care home by default.

Although almost all us would prefer to stay in our own home, the idea of someone coming in to live with us can be a very daunting prospect. We are often very accustomed to our privacy and independence, and the idea of a stranger living in our house takes a bit of getting used to.

In our experience, within about 24-48 hours people who have live in carers are very happy and grateful to have someone around and most actually prefer to have someone if they have previously been by themselves.

There are numerous benefits of being able to stay at home with a live in carer as opposed to being in care home. It means that friends and family are often nearby and can pop in whenever is convenient, there are no visiting times to work around. It means that we are able to live according to our own schedule, and eat what meals we’d like to eat when we’d like to eat them. And we can continue to pursue any hobbies and interests that we have.

We are also surrounded by all of our personal belongings and have our beloved pets with us making us feel at home.

There is also the freedom to go away for holidays, or breaks to visit family in different parts of the country. Carers are usually happy to travel to help with this.

It takes the pressure of caring away from family members meaning they are able to spend quality time with their loved ones rather than spending all their free time with things like shopping, cooking and personal care. It also takes away a lot of the worry knowing that their relatives are well looked after. It means they can go back to their own homes without the concern that their loved one will have a fall with nobody around or leave the gas turned on, or simply feel lonely.

It can also allow an elderly couple to stay together whereas they might otherwise be separated in a residential care home.

With all the numerous benefits of being able to stay at home, and with the cost very comparable to a care home it is amazing to us that this is not the first option that is considered.

To find out more please read our page about live in care.