Care home vs home care

March 15, 2024 Homecare Services

Care home vs home care

As our loved ones age, their needs may change. Sometimes, additional support is necessary to ensure their safety and well-being. But with so many care options available, navigating the path forward can feel overwhelming. Two prominent choices emerge: in-home care and care homes.

Levels of care in care homes

Residential care homes

These homes provide a helping hand with everyday tasks like dressing, bathing, and remembering to take medications. While they don’t have registered nurses on-site, they do have experienced care assistants who can offer personalised support. Often, couples can even live together in these homes, providing mutual support for one another.

Nursing care homes

Nursing care homes offer a higher level of care with qualified nurses available around the clock. This is ideal for individuals with complex medical conditions or those needing more intensive support. These facilities are staffed by both registered nurses who can provide medical care and experienced care assistants who can help with daily living activities.

The duality of care

The good news is that some care homes are dually registered. This means they can cater to residents who require either personal or nursing care. This flexibility allows residents to stay in the same familiar environment if their needs change from personal care to nursing care over time.

Dementia care specialists

Many care homes go a step further by offering specialised accommodation and support specifically designed for older adults living with dementia. These facilities create a safe and stimulating environment that caters to their specific cognitive needs.


  • Peace of Mind and Security: Trained staff are always on hand, ensuring your safety and well-being. You can shed the burden of daily tasks and potential hazards, allowing for a greater sense of security and peace of mind.

  • Freedom from Daily Burdens: Care homes handle meals, utility bills, and household chores. This frees you from everyday hassles, allowing you to focus on leisure activities and simply enjoying your time. The well-maintained environment further contributes to a comfortable living experience.

  • Companionship and Social Engagement: Care homes foster a vibrant social atmosphere with residents and staff. You’ll always have someone to talk to, and many facilities organise activities to keep residents engaged and entertained.

  • Expert Medication Management: Qualified staff can ensure you take your medications correctly and on time, promoting better health outcomes.


  • Cost: Care homes can be financially demanding, especially without local council funding. Thoroughly research costs and explore financial assistance options to ensure affordability.

  • Varied Quality Standards: Although all registered homes meet minimum standards, the quality of care can vary significantly. Consulting the Care Quality Commission website is crucial to find a home that meets your expectations.

  • Limited Space: Residents typically have a single room, so bringing all your belongings may not be feasible. Carefully consider which personal items hold the most sentimental value.

  • Potential for Reduced Independence: While good care homes strive to maximise resident independence, some assistance with daily tasks is inevitable. There may also be a slight decrease in privacy.

  • Pet Restrictions: Many care homes don’t allow pets. Even those claiming to be “pet-friendly” may have limitations on residency or visitation. Be sure to clarify pet policies before making a decision.

  • Resident Compatibility: Social interaction is a benefit, but you may not connect with everyone. Consider the overall resident population during your exploration of care homes.

  • Emotional Impact on Family: Family members may experience guilt if they can’t provide more hands-on help or visit frequently. Open communication and understanding are key to navigating these emotions.

Home care services

Home care allows you to stay in your own familiar environment while receiving regular visits from a care worker. These carers can assist with personal care needs like bathing, dressing, and medication reminders. They can also help with tasks like shopping and preparing meals, ensuring you’re well-fed and taken care of.

Home care isn’t limited to just these services. Some agencies take it a step further by offering skilled nursing care in the comfort of your own home.

Here’s how a home care agency with nurses can benefit you or your loved one:

  • Specialised Medical Care: Registered nurses can provide a variety of medical services at home, eliminating the need for frequent hospital visits. This could include medication management, wound care, injections, and monitoring vital signs.

  • Continuity of Care: Having a dedicated nurse from the home care agency allows for consistent care and communication. The nurse can develop a personalised plan and collaborate with your doctor to ensure optimal health outcomes.

  • Peace of Mind for Families: Knowing a qualified nurse is readily available at home can provide immense peace of mind for families. They can feel confident that their loved one is receiving the necessary medical attention in a familiar and comfortable setting.

Important considerations

  • Cost: Home care with nurses can be more expensive than traditional home care services. Explore insurance coverage options and discuss costs with the agency to understand your financial obligations.

  • Specific Needs Assessment: A home care agency will conduct a thorough assessment to determine if in-home nursing care is the right fit for your needs. The nurse will then develop a personalised care plan tailored to your specific medical situation.

  • Finding the Right Agency: Look for a reputable home care agency with a team of qualified and experienced nurses. Check their credentials, references, and ensure they are licensed and insured. Many agencies specialise in specific conditions, so consider your individual needs when choosing an agency.


  • Potentially Cost-Effective: While costs can vary, home care may be a more affordable option, especially for those with lower support needs. However, as your needs increase, a care home might become more cost-effective.

  • Stronger Social Connections: Home care allows you to remain close to loved ones and maintain your existing social network within the neighbourhood. This sense of community can be invaluable for emotional well-being.

  • Tailored Care and Flexibility: Home care offers a high degree of customisation. You can choose the level of support you need and adjust it as your circumstances change. This personalised approach ensures you receive the exact level of assistance necessary.

  • Pet-Friendly Environment: Many home care providers allow pets, allowing you to continue sharing your life with your furry companions. For those needing additional pet care assistance, organisations like the Cinnamon Trust can offer support.

  • Financial Considerations: Unlike care homes, the value of your home isn’t typically factored into determining your financial contribution towards home care costs. This can be a significant financial advantage, especially for homeowners.


  • Potential for carer or nurse changes: Home care agencies strive to send the same caregiver for consistency. However, unforeseen circumstances like illness or time off can necessitate changes. Open communication with the agency can help minimise disruptions.

  • Scheduling Variations: While caregivers aim for punctuality, occasional delays can occur due to unforeseen circumstances at previous appointments. This might be inconvenient for those with strict schedules. Discussing flexibility and potential backup plans with the agency can help manage expectations.

  • Cost Increases with Additional Needs: As your needs evolve, you may require additional services like cleaning, gardening, or hairstyling visits. These add-ons can increase the overall cost of care.

  • Impact of Home Modifications: While home modifications can improve accessibility, some alterations, depending on their nature, might affect your property value. Carefully consider the modifications needed and discuss them with a professional to find a balance between functionality and aesthetics.

  • Varied Care Quality: As with any service, the quality of home care can vary. The Care Quality Commission website offers valuable resources to assess the reputation and standards of different agencies.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

At Cavendish Homecare, we deliver exceptional care in the familiar surroundings of your own home, empowering you to regain your sense of self. We provide personalised private home care tailored to individual needs in London and the Home Counties. To learn more about our care services and how we can assist with your hospital discharge, please reach out to our team at 020 3008 5210 or email us at We are here to discuss further and address any questions or concerns you may have.