Main Office: 01206 866 252
Domiciliary Care Office: 01206 583 743
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Different Types of Care Explained

03 November 2022

Domiciliary Care, Respite Care, Live-In Care - what’s the difference? There are so many variations in the type of care provided by care homes that it can be challenging to find the right care for you or your loved one. With so many services available, we wanted to provide a clear differentiation between them, to enable well-informed decisions regarding care needs.

In this article, we cover:

We hope this guide helps simplify these terms and that you leave with a better understanding of what type of care service would be best suited to your needs.

What is Domiciliary Care?

Domiciliary Care (also known as ‘home care’), refers to the range of services put in place to support an individual in their home. Usually, the individual being cared for would be visited by a trained carer for a few hours each day or as often as the individual requires. Prices typically range from £20 to £30 per hour depending on where you are in the country, the needs of the individual, and services required.

Services might include helping with household tasks, supporting personal care, daily activities outside the home, etc. Domiciliary Care is available to people of all ages, genders and walks of life.

The pros:

  • Minimal disruption to current lifestyle
  • The individual can remain in their home, so providing a familiar and comfortable environment
  • Generally, the individual benefits from improved mental health and a sense of retaining their independence
  • Can be a lot more affordable than a full time care home, or assisted or supported living solutions

The cons:

  • On-hand support is not always available when the client might need it

Here at Butterfly’s Care Group we provide fully-trained and experienced domiciliary care staff to provide the best support for our clients who wish to remain in their own home, meaning more independence and overall improved mental wellbeing. We know that each client is unique and has different requirements, and as a result we take great pride in tailoring the care to meet the specific needs of the individual.

What is Live-in Care?

Unlike Domiciliary Care which is an hourly service, Live-in Care involves the carer living with the individual. This type of care is often for people who require 24/7 1:1 support and the carer is available around the clock.

The pros:

  • Allows the individual being cared for to retain a level of independence, whilst still having their needs met
  • Enables couples who require care to stay together in a comfortable and familiar setting
  • Some individuals don’t enjoy/feel uncomfortable with the idea of being surrounded by others in an unfamiliar and institutionalised environment. Live-in Care enables them to receive support without this being an issue
  • Often cheaper than Residential Care

The cons:

  • Often more expensive than domiciliary care as the carer is with them 24/7, but may be cheaper than a care home if more than one person requires care
  • If not carefully managed, both the carer and the individual being cared for can become fatigued. Experienced care providers with larger workforces have processes in place to help minimise the risk of this occurring

What is Respite Care?

Respite Care describes a temporary, short-term care service, designed to give unpaid carers (such as family members), or the person receiving care, a much-needed break. This ‘respite’ can come in several forms, for example:

  • A trained carer might come in for a few hours to take over the individual's care
  • The individual being cared for might be taken on a day out, enabling the carer to have a break
  • Could allow the carer to go on a holiday that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to
  • Could enable the individual being cared for to go on a holiday where additional or specialist support may be required

Respite Care can last for a few hours, several days, or sometimes even a couple of weeks. It can be provided both in the home (domiciliary), in a healthcare facility (residential), or outside of both environments in the form of a holiday or activity. This service is often charged hourly or daily, depending on the time frame of care being given.

The pros:

  • Can be very beneficial to the mental health and wellbeing of both the carer and the individual being cared for
  • For the carer, it prevents burnout and provides the opportunity for a break from the intense nature of caring for someone
  • For the individual being cared for, it gives them the chance to meet new people, offers a change of scenery and potentially participation in new activities or experiences

The cons:

  • May work out more expensive than other types of care depending on the type of respite (eg. holidays away from home, which may require specialist equipment, staff and travel insurance) and length of the respite period

From spa weekends to respite holidays in the UK and abroad our respite care services are perfect for allowing both you and your loved ones to have a much needed break.

We particularly understand the needs of the elderly, those with dementia, and mental health sufferers and will work closely with you and your dependent to ensure you all have the peace of mind you need to relax and recharge.

What is Supported Living?

Supported Living services aim to provide individuals with as much independence as possible, often as a stepping stone to aid their integration into the wider community. Supported living (also know as "supportive living") is often used to help support young adults with a wide range of physical and mental health conditions such as:

A key differentiator between Supported Living and Assisted Living, is that Supported Living provides tenants with accommodation and lifestyle support, but personal care support is often added on separately.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) defines Supported Living as:

“By supported living we mean schemes that provide personal care to people as part of the support that they need to live in their own homes. The personal care is provided under separate contractual arrangements to those for the person’s housing. The accommodation is often shared, but can be single household. Supported living providers that do not provide the regulated activity ‘Personal care’ are not required by law to register with CQC.”

The pros:

  • Can be provided as shared or individual homes
  • The individual will be able to receive support from trained professionals when needed, whilst also retaining a sense of independence
  • Can be a great option for empowering individuals in a safe environment
  • Can be less overwhelming for people with behavioural issues or mental health disabilities than shared residential environments
  • Those in Supported Living will still be able to receive some financial benefits
  • In shared Supported Living spaces, individuals have the opportunity to socialise with others of similar ages or vulnerabilities

The cons:

  • The amount of care might not be enough for some individuals
  • Most Supported Living accommodations are very basic

As a Butterfly's care user, you can choose to receive as much or as little support as you need with our bespoke Supported Living services across Essex. Some people choose to live in their own house or flat. Others enjoy sharing a home with friends or peers, while still having their own tenancy and independence.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living services involve an individual moving into a private home or flat which is housed within a specialist complex, otherwise known as an Assisted Living Facility. Staff and nurses are usually available around the clock if any individual needs support. Unlike sheltered housing, Assisted living services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

These facilities are often like self-contained, small villages. The individuals have access to leisure activities, cafes and shops, and a programme of organised communal groups that are always optional. The individual will have keys to their own small property, which they can either buy or rent, and will be kitted with everything they might need, such as a fully equipped kitchen, living space, bedroom and bathroom.

Generally Assisted Living is more common as a care option for the elderly than Supported Living.

The pros:

  • Secure and safe environment
  • 24/7 care available
  • Access to a range of facilities and activities
  • Integrate and socialise with others of similar ages/circumstances
  • Live a full life and be independent whilst still receiving care

The cons:

  • Is a more expensive option
  • This type of service is less common, so the individual might have to move far away from family and friends to access this service

What is Residential Care?

Residential care (also often referred to as Care Homes) is in many ways similar to assisted living in that staff and nurses are usually available around the clock if any individual needs support. However, unlike assisted living, the accommodation often takes the form of a private bedroom and bathroom for each person which provides them with a private space, but other aspects such as living and dining areas are communal spaces. In addition, some aspects such as meals are taken communially at the same time.

Care home costs vary wildly across the country but as a rough guide you will normally be looking at around £1,200 to £1,500 per week. In some cases, care homes are run by or supported by local councils which can sometimes help reduce the costs.

As with assisted living, residential care homes are more common as a care option for those with learning disabilities or mental health issues as well as the elderly. You will sometimes find that care homes also provide assisted living facilities on site.

The pros:

  • 24/7 care available
  • Secure and safe environment
  • Access to a range of facilities and activities
  • Integrate and socialise with others of similar ages/circumstances
  • Live a full life and be independent whilst still receiving care

The cons:

  • Is a more expensive option
  • This type of service is less common, so the individual might have to move far away from family and friends to access this service

We compare Residential Care to Supported Living as it is often a case where someone requires additional help or full time support.  

What is Palliative Care?

This type of care describes end-of-life care services available to those with a terminal illness. Palliative Care can be both domiciliary (care given in the home) or residential (care in a specialist facility). Where an individual receives Palliative Care will depend on things such as their mobility and ability to carry out daily tasks, who they live with/live close to (i.e. are they living or nearby any relatives who can help care for them?)

The pros:

  • Care providers are usually trained specially for Palliative Care
  • Can provide loved ones with comfort to know the individual is being cared for towards the end of their life
  • Can provide individuals with reassurance, comfort and company towards the end of their life
  • Maintains individuals dignity towards the end of life
  • May aid relief of some symptoms via medication that can be administered as an out-patient

The cons:

  • Can be expensive as many insurance companies will not cover costs
  • If care is being given at home, this type of care might be emotionally and physically draining for loved ones
  • Regular transport might be needed to take the patient to and from hospitals if care is being carried out at home, which can be difficult, inconvenient and expensive

What is Informal Care?

Informal Care usually describes unpaid care being given to an individual by someone with whom they have a relationship (e.g. sibling, partner, parent or child). No contractual agreement or formal payment is involved. Whilst a salary is not paid, informal payments in the form of benefits such as Carer’s Allowance might be made to the carer by the government..

Usually, Informal Care is given when an individual's financial situation cannot afford care from a trained provider, or when a close family member or friend is volunteering to care for the individual.

The pros:

  • Care can be carried out in a comfortable and familiar environment
  • Care is provided by someone who knows the individual well
  • A viable option for people with insufficient funds for trained care

The cons:

  • Carer often receives no payment for caring
  • Carer often receives no respite from caring, which can cause exhaustion and burnout
  • Carers are often not trained professionals

Do You Need Help Caring for a Loved One In Essex?

We hope that this has helped you understand the different types of care services available. If you would like to know more about different services, what they offer and how they could benefit you, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

We are a family-run group of care homes in Essex for over 18 years, and are committed to supporting individuals to reach their full potential and receive the highest quality of care. Our team is a group of compassionate and expertly trained professionals who want to help you find the right care service and provider to suit your needs.

Talk to us

We are more than happy to speak to you regarding any of our services or for some general advice.
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Head Office:
Butterfly's Care Homes Ltd
3 Bromley Road

Main Office:
01206 866 252

Domiciliary Care Office:
01206 583 743

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