The Live-in Care Company
Background Pattern

Elderly Live-in Care vs 24 Hour Care at Home

In this guide, we discuss the differences between 24-hour care and live-in care and help you decide which is more suitable for yourself or a loved one.

As providers of both elderly live-in care and 24-hour care at home, The Live in Care Company is dedicated to helping you find the perfect care solution to suit your loved one’s unique needs and situation.

What is 24-hour care?

24-hour care, or overnight home care for the elderly, is a specialised form of live-in care at home. Our skilled 24-hour carers will provide reliable companionship and quality care to your loved one within their home and throughout the day and night. This often means that a team of two or more 24-hour carers will be employed to watch over your loved one in shifts, ensuring that they are safe, secure, and able to live as independently as possible.

Your loved one will be in contact with a carer at all times while remaining in the comfort of home, providing peace of mind to you and your family. This can be particularly important for those who need help with daily activities but also tend to have restless nights and would benefit from support during these hours. 24-hour care for elderly loved ones can make a world of difference for those who are prone to wandering, and it can be reassuring to know that they have someone to keep an eye on them.

What are the differences between 24-hour care and elderly live-in care?

The main difference between elderly live-in care and 24-hour live-in care is that 24-hour carers do not necessarily live within the home of the cared-for individual. They usually come in eight-hour shifts to provide care at all times within the home. With live-in home care, the carer will live with your loved one, in their home but, may not provide active care throughout the night.

For example, many live-in carers will work 7-day weeks and around 8 hours during the day. They may also require time off, breaks throughout the day, and a full eight hours of rest during the night. Since there is usually only one live-in carer giver working at any one time, they will not be able to provide care on a 24-hour basis through the night.

24-hour overnight waking carers often share shifts throughout the day and night to ensure that your loved one is watched over and cared for at all times. If you would prefer a care team to be around to support your loved one for the whole 24-hour period, then 24-hour care at home is what you need.

This form of care is best suited to those without serious or consistent care needs throughout the night.

What can a sleeping 24 hour carer help with? 

  • Anxiety in the night
  • Issues with sleeping
  • Mobility issues
  • A need for assistance two or more times throughout the night

A waking 24-hour carer will also remain in the home during the night, but they will provide a more active role during these hours.

What can a waking 24 hour carer help with? 

  • Medication administration throughout the night
  • Assistance during frequent visits to the toilet
  • Help with ventilators or catheters
  • Someone to actively watch over them at night

Both types of care can be incredibly beneficial to those with specialised care needs, such as dementia or mobility issues. Our dementia 24-hour carers can help your loved one with dementia feel less anxious and keep them from wandering in the dark hours of the night. You and your family may rest peacefully at night knowing that your loved one is safe, secure, and protected against any accidents or discomfort.


The differences between live-in care and 24-hour care can also be summarised as:

Live in care
24 hour care
Carers live within the home of the person being cared for  Carers stay at the home during their shifts, but are less likely to ‘live in’ 
Carers require breaks within their shift for sleeping and respite Carers work throughout their whole shift 
Two carers usually alternate every 4 to 12 weeks approximately  A team of carers is usually employed
A respite carer may be brought in when the usual carers are away  Often, respite care can be covered by a team of carers


If you are unsure of what kind of 24-hour care is best for you and your family, a care needs assessment can help determine what level of care and support you require. You can also feel free to reach out to a friendly member of our team. We would love to answer any of your questions.

What does a 24-hour carer do?

A 24 hour carer will offer support and provide a specialised form of care during the night hours. This mainly involves ensuring your loved one feels safe, comfortable, clean and cared for throughout the night.  Some common care options include administering medication, helping your loved one move position in bed, or helping with incontinence needs. This is not a comprehensive list and our carers will tailor the care they provide perfectly to your loved one’s exact needs. For a more in-depth look into what a 24-hour carer can do for your loved one, please see our guide, What is Overnight Home Care for the Elderly?

What are the advantages of 24 hour care at home?

Round-the-clock support

The main advantage of 24-hour care at home is that your loved one will have round-the-clock support. Having someone in attendance during both the day and night can help reduce the risk of falls and provide you with peace of mind that your loved one is never alone.


Your loved one will still retain their independence where safe to do so.  They can decide when to eat, where to shop for food and other items, and enjoy their all favourite activities and hobbies on a schedule that suits them. 24-hour carers will be there every step of the way to provide support in their day-to-day and ensure that they have all the support they need to live as happy a life as possible.

Continuity of care

It’s important for your loved one to feel safe and life they are left in trusted hands. That’s why there is often good coordination within the care team and continuity of care that will allow your loved one to become familiar with those watching over them.

Familiar surroundings

Your loved one can remain in familiar surroundings and with their belongings, which is especially important for elderly loved ones and those with dementia. Change can be challenging for anyone, but it is often more difficult for older people to adjust. By remaining at home, your loved one will feel less disrupted and be able to maintain their identity.

The freedom to keep pets

Unlike care homes, 24-hour care at home ensures that a care team will come to your loved one’s home, allowing them to remain with any pets they may have. This is extremely important to some people, and it avoids the difficult scenario of having to separate a loved one from their pets. The care team may also support your loved one by walking, bathing, or walking their pets.

Social network

A support network is extremely important for maintaining a good quality of life. By having a carer come into the home of your loved one, they will be able to receive help with transport, and mobility, and retain social networks within their local communities. Many older people do form friendships within a care home environment, but these can take time to develop, and contact with close family and friends from before may be reduced, which can be upsetting. Keeping your loved one at home can help keep visitors frequent, and their support network flourishing.

How much does 24-hour care cost?

24/7 care can have much higher costs than live-in care. This is mainly because of the amount of active work and care that is required, with someone being employed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Around-the-clock care will usually calculate costs on a weekly or monthly basis, and it can vary greatly depending on the care package you opt for and the area you live in. In some cases, the costs for caregivers employed 24 hours a day, seven days a week can reach as high as £3,000 per week.

Funding options are available. After taking the care needs assessment, there is also a financial assessment and the means test to determine how much either you or your local council will contribute to 24-hour care at home. Please see our live in care guide for more information on funding and care costs.

Is 24-hour care the right choice for me?

24-hour care is the perfect choice for loved ones who would benefit from having carers around them at all times. Our wonderful carers will ensure that they have constant support, are never lonely, and have support with household chores, personal care, and any activity that they are less able to do independently.

If you are concerned your loved one is missing out on hobbies or social events due to not feeling confident, or if you have noticed that they have difficulty with accessing events, then having a friendly carer by their side can be really advantageous in helping them maintain their social lives. A 24-hour carer will also help you have peace of mind if your loved one is prone to falling or needs help with their mobility around the house. Having someone near at all hours of the day and the night can help minimise any accidents or injuries they may sustain by trying to do things by themselves.

24-hour care is usually provided to those people who need the most support. It may be something that you wish to look into in the future, especially if you think that your loved one is able to manage with less support for the time being. You may also look into 24-hour care at home for couples who live together. This can work out to be more cost-effective than a residential home, and allow couples to remain comfortable together in their own home.

Around-the-clock care may also be required for those that have more complex medical health needs and the support of specialists. It’s possible a nursing home may be preferable for your loved one’s needs, however, there are specialist care professionals who will come to your loved one’s home and manage the complexities of care required. If you are unsure, please do get in contact with us so that we can help you decide whether 24-hour care at home is the right choice.

How do I find night carers for elderly?

A live-in care agency (also known as an introductory agency) can provide a live-in carer to suit the needs of an individual or a couple requiring care at home. The agency should take the time to understand individual preferences, needs and circumstances to match appropriately skilled and experienced live-in caregivers.

How we can help

At The Live in Care Company, we make the process of arranging elderly live-in care straightforward and stress-free.  We often provide two carers to clients who can provide 24-hour live-in care. Our expert team will be happy to speak to you and will take the time to understand your situation and your needs. We will match you with a wonderful live-in carer. Contact us today.

Speak to one of our experts

Our friendly experts are here to help from 9am to 7pm, 7 days a week.

We value your privacy

To tailor your experience and help us provide the best service, we use cookies. Learn more


Download Our Brochure

To download a PDF version of our brochure please complete the below form.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.