What is Live In Care: Your Guide To 24 Hour Live-In Care

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Reaching the point in our lives when you need a greater level of care and support, shouldn’t automatically mean you have to leave the place you feel happiest and most secure – your own home.

Live in care is a 24 hour ‘in your own home’ alternative to moving into a residential care home or a nursing home. Often, dramatic changes to routine and environment can have a significant and distressing impact on a person’s life and wellbeing.

At Unique Senior Care, our live in carers are directly employed, highly trained and carefully selected to live with you as a companion and support your daily activities in your own home.

Your expertly matched Caregiver focuses solely on your needs, getting to know you and providing top-notch care and support. This allows you to maintain your routines, interests, and hobbies.

You and your loved one will decide the carer's usual working hours, based on when you will need the most assistance. Outside of these agreed hours, your carer will be able to rest, sleep, and enjoy the usual activities of living at home.

A Unique Senior Care employee with an orange lanyard around her neck, sits sharing a cup of tea with an elderly live in care companion.

How Does Live In Care At Home Differ From Hourly Care?

Two split images: Pat sits smiling in an armchair, wearing a pink cardigan and presenting her flower painting. The right image shows a painted cut out of a butterfly with a sheet of colourful smaller butterflies.

The difference between live-in 24 hour care and hourly care is the amount of time that carers can stay with you. With 24-hour home care, your carer sleeps in the property, offering constant support and companionship except for mutually agreed break times.

Our live in Caregivers will often stay for a few weeks at a time before rotating with another Unique Caregiver. This routine and consistency allow for strong relationships and trust to be built.

Having this luxury of time means that the service can encompass all aspects of your care needs, including support with housekeeping and companionship.  Live-in Care is therefore charged at a weekly rate.

In comparison, hourly care involves set, agreed visiting times during the day, for a minimum of one hour per visit. Families are allocated a small team of Caregivers who attend these calls.

They typically support with pre-agreed tasks such as starting and ending the day, meal times, medication and housekeeping. Sometimes called visiting care, community care or domiciliary care, this service is charged at an hourly rate.

Can Live In And Hourly Home Care Work Together?

Many of our families will begin their care journey with a number of hourly care calls and find that as needs increase live in care becomes the obvious next step.

There are also times when both services work together. For example, a client may have specific moving and handling needs where two Caregivers are required to ensure a safe and secure process can be followed.

In such cases, we can arrange for a community carer to assist the resident Caregiver with these tasks. Similarly, if your loved one cannot be left alone at any time of day, we can schedule hourly visits to give the resident carer an ample break.

What Happens At Night Time With A Live-In Carer?

We understand that night-time can be a significant concern for many families. The reassuring presence of a carer staying in the home often provides immense peace of mind. Simply knowing someone is there, ready to assist if needed, can contribute to a more restful night for everyone.

The structure a live-in carer can bring to daytime routines can also help to establish clearer day and night patterns, making night times a more comfortable and restful experience for the client.

If there is a need for regular assistance and care throughout the night then additional, specific support can also be arranged. It is important that your carer is rested enough to be able to work to our high standards during the day, we all know that getting a good night’s sleep is key to this!

A senior woman sits at a kitchen counter with a lady dressed in blue standing beside her. They are both reading from a green folder potentially on the subject of live in care costs

How 24-Hour live in care works


We carefully identify the right carer for you.


You remain in the comfort of your own home.


You benefit from around the clock support.


As much or little care as you require.


Your family and friends visit as before.


Our carer becomes more like a friend.


You provide a bedroom for the carer to rest and sleep.

What Types Of Live In Care Are There?

Ongoing Live In Care

Most families choose ongoing live in care, allowing their loved ones to stay in their own home and live as independently as possible for as long as they desire. We take enormous pride in the number of clients we have enabled to maintain this independence.

With advanced planning, we establish regular rotations of well-matched carers who return to the same families, ensuring stability and a deep understanding of individual needs.

Respite Live in Care

Sometimes constant one-to-one care is needed but only for a set period. For these situations, we offer Respite Live-In Care. This service is planned in advance and delivered in weekly increments, providing a flexible and responsive solution for various needs.

Home From Hospital Care

Our respite care can play a vital role in ensuring a safe hospital discharge, aiding in recovery and rehabilitation at home. With the NHS resources under extreme pressure, our respite care service is quick to respond, working closely with discharge and family instructions.

Live in care allows your loved one to continue their recovery in the place where they are most comfortable – their home.

We seamlessly handle complex or new medication routines and coordinate with other services like Occupational Health, Physiotherapy, District Nursing, and GP practices.

Family Carer Respite

This service can allow the main family carer to take a well-deserved break and tend to their own needs.. Here we do our best to smoothly integrate into existing routines, ensuring normal daily activities continue as planned in their absence.

We often see families returning for regular short-term care breaks throughout the year, allowing them peace of mind to take some time away.

Palliative Care

We are often called upon to provide palliative and end-of-life care. Enabling people to live as well and as dignified as possible, for as long as possible in their own home is a privilege we hold dear.

Our Caregivers are trained to provide the specific round-the-clock care that end-of-life support requires. This ensures families can take comfort in the fact that their loved one's personal wishes, to be at home until the very end, have been fulfilled.

Live In Care For Couples

Often, a single carer can provide care in your own home for two people at the same time – offering a great alternative to care homes for couples who wish to remain in familiar surroundings. This arrangement can be hugely cost-effective when compared to the expense of two beds in residential care.

From managing laundry and housekeeping to attending to more personal care tasks, your Caregiver can subtly facilitate the successful running of home and personal routines. At the same time, they ensure as much independence and privacy for the couple as needed.

Live-In Care FAQs: What Tasks Does Live-In Care Cover?

What Conditions Do You Support With 24-Hour Care ?

client playing scrabble with Caregiver under conditions supported by 24 hour live-in care

The list of conditions we support is vast and continually growing. Not all clients will have a formal diagnosis – we often see the generic term “ elderly care” used as a catch-all for decreasing health and mobility. However, we do have lots of experience in providing a live-in care service for those with more complex care needs, including Cancer, Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease, the effects of a stroke, and Multiple Sclerosis.

We most frequently offer 24-hour live-in care for those who have dementia, including Alzheimer’sVascular DementiaLewy Body and Frontotemporal or mixed Dementia. With cognitive decline, the continuity of routine and environment becomes even more important - that's where 24-hour care is ideally placed to help.

Our approach to building personal one-to-one relationships and bespoke care within the home setting avoids the physical and emotional distress associated with transitioning to the unfamiliar environment of residential or nursing care.

Our carers are specifically trained to handle the unique challenges that come with dementia. We've seen some wonderful outcomes in people's care journeys and have lots of tools to enable your loved one to continue to live well with dementia at home.

What makes us different?

Our standards are uncompromising, and we are very proud of our reputation for providing an outstanding service.

100% of our Carers are directly employed.

We only employ the best people – who have to pass our ‘Mum test’ ie would we allow them to look after our own loved ones?

Our staff do not wear uniforms – so they just look like a family member or friend when out and about with our clients.

Our Live-in care service enables our clients to remain living where they want, such as in the comfort of their own homes.

In case of emergencies, we operate an out-of-hours on-call service

Clients and their families have rated us as one of the Top 20 homecare providers in England in 2023 (and previously in 2021 and 2022).

Your 100% satisfaction is our aim – if you think we need to do better, please let us know.

I Need Care Now? Can You Help?

Yes we can. We understand that arranging care is often not pre-planned or discussed as a family, and making informed decisions about care options is not easy during an emotionally turbulent time.

Our experienced care team can help answer all of your many questions and is used to quickly mobilise care at home, sometimes within just a few days.

Ensuring that we start the right care safely and with the most suitable dedicated care professional is paramount. To achieve this, your designated Unique Care Manager will need to complete a face-to-face and in-home care assessment to help us assess the level of care you need and craft a bespoke care plan.

With lots of quality communication and availability on both sides, we will always do our utmost to meet your preferred timelines for starting care.

What Do I Need To Provide For a live-in carer?

Not as much as you may think – our carers are flexible and adaptable to most environments. The essential criteria for our service to function effectively and ensure the welfare of our carers include.

A Habitable Environment - Basic cleanliness and hygiene with working utilities within the home may sound obvious. This isn’t about dated décor ( which we are well used to) but a basic level of comfort for all.

Bedroom - Your carer will need their own space for sleeping and resting. A simple bedroom with some storage provision for their personal belongings is fine.

Wi-Fi - We do ask for there to be working Wi-Fi in the property so that we can ensure effective communication can be guaranteed.

Time For Breaks - This is really important, we need to be able to ensure that our carers can take some time out during the day for themselves. This is usually a two-hour period each day which can be taken at a mutually agreed time so that the care for your loved one is not compromised.

Our team will be able to advise as to how we are best to make this work and what expectations you can have on your carer and their time given their continual presence in your home.

Groceries - Your carer will manage their own food and either a set amount will be paid to the Caregiver on a weekly basis and included in the monthly invoice or a Caregiver's food allowance can be included in the regular household budget.

Elderly gentleman and carer drinking tea on sofa under I Need Car Now - Can You Help section of live in care page.
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Poling has been with us a week now and she is already like a member of our family she is a diamond.

Joyce, Solihull

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I really happy with the live in, she is true credit to your team.

Tom, Shipston on Stour

Why Choose Live-In Care Over A Care Home?

Live-in care is quickly becoming a preferred, cost-effective alternative to a care home, especially for arranging 24-hour care at home for loved ones. Home care allows your loved one stay in their own home, offering a more personal, one-to-one care experience and helping maintain their independence and community ties.

Not just safer by reducing risks like infections found in institutional care, live-in care is especially good for couples that may need 24-hour care. For more on how live-in care compares to traditional nursing homes, including points on elderly care, personal care, and tailor-made care plans, do check out our 'Live In vs Care Home' article.

This article gives you a closer look at what live in care involves and how it offers a personal, safe, and cost-effective solution compared to residential care. It also features real stories and a detailed benefits comparison.

This resource offers detailed insights into how live-in care provides a personalised, secure, and cost-effective alternative to residential care, exemplified by real-life testimonials and an in-depth comparison of benefits.

What Happens When Live-In Caregivers Need A Break Or To Take A Vacation?

In live-in home care, typically two carers work on a rotational basis, ensuring 24-hour care continuity. For example, one live-in carer might stay with you for two weeks, followed by another for the next fortnight.

This not only maintains a consistent level of care but also introduces fresh interactions for the care recipient, enhancing the quality of care and companionship.

Lady waving under what happens when live in Caregivers need a break or vacation

What Does Live-In Care Cost?

Lady with Caregiver for What Does Live In Care Cost?

Live-in care costs in the UK typically range from £900 to £1,800 per week. This can vary depending on care requirements and location, with higher costs in places like London. For couples where both receive care from one Caregiver, costs may rise to between £1,700 and £2,000 per week.

At Unique Senior Care, we offer transparent pricing for care which is tailored to your needs:

For Individuals: Our weekly rate for a single person's care is £1,575, including comprehensive, personalised support.

For Couples: A dual-care package costs £1,820 per week, providing shared care and assistance to both individuals.

There are multiple funding options available for live-in care. Local authority support can offer financial assistance for those with assets below a regional threshold (e.g., £23,250 in England). Meanwhile, for those with more complex care needs, NHS Continuing Healthcare covers the cost of care for specific health conditions.

Other potential financial support includes Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.

It's important to thoroughly explore all available funding options to understand the financial aspects of live-in care and the best funding option for your specific circumstances.

Read our comprehensive guide on live-in care costs in the UK to find out more about what a live-in carer can support with, detailed information on different funding options and why some unregulated companies may appear cheaper.

Where Do You Provide Live-In Home Care Within UK?

Our live-in care services extend from the North Midlands to East Anglia, Essex, down through the South East, across the central belt, home counties, and south coast, reaching as far as Dorset and Somerset.

We are dedicated to maintaining our “Outstanding” CQC Rating and constantly expanding our service areas. Please contact us to confirm if we provide care in your area, as our coverage is always growing.

How Do You Differ From A Care Agency?

We differ from typical care agencies as all our Caregivers are directly employed by us. We ensure the highest quality of care through our in-house training academy, consistent with our commitment to excellence.

How Do I Arrange Live-In Care?

To arrange a live-in care package for you or your loved one starts with an initial discussion with one of our specialist care advisors. From there, they will arrange for one of our Registered Care Managers to visit you at home, without cost or obligation to further discuss and assess your live-in care at home requirements.

Should you then wish to choose us as your live-in care provider our team will then select the most suitable Caregiver for your needs and agree with you when to put care in place.

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