Do I need a care home or live-in care?

Do I need a care home or live-in care?

Birchwood House is a residential care home based in Tunbridge Wells. This means our residents come and live in our home and we look after them, enabling them to enjoy as fulfilling lives as possible. This is very different to 24 hour live-in care which is where round the clock care is needed, but a patient wants to stay in their own home so they have a carer with them day and night to look after and support them.

Another option is homecare which is where a client needs support in there own home but not round the 24 hour support in the same way as live-in care, so they may have a carer come to their home a few times a week to look after them. We’re not going to cover homecare in this article – if you want more information on this then head over to the Birchwood Care Services website who offer homecare in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks areas.

One common decision to make when it’s clear that an elderly friend or relative needs round the clock care is would it be more appropriate for them to go and live in a residential care home, or would they be better served with live-in care. Here is some more information on each that will hopefully help if you’re having to make this tough decision:


This is a big one here at Birchwood House – we offer a ‘home from home’ environment and a family feel with meals together and a range of opportunities to interact with other residents. At Birchwood House you feel part of a community which is a significant advantage over live-in care.

Advantage – care home


We have spoken in a previous article about how we do our absolute best to give our residents an environment that has as many home comforts as possible and therefore feels familiar to them. Having said that, one of the major advantages of live-in care is that you’re able to stay in your own home with your own surroundings so you maintain a level of familiarity.

Advantage – live-in care


Here at Birchwood House we’re proud of the activities programme we put on for our residents who enjoy a full programme of events and excursions, and we do love to celebrate events such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and of course Christmas! If you have a live-in carer come to you then you will likely miss out on many of these activities.

Advantage – care home


Live-in care offers the advantage of an elderly person not having to move or have a change in their daily patterns or routines. Moving home can be stressful at the best of times, but moving into a care home is a huge adjustment. We always manage these moves carefully to make the transition as smooth as possible but disruption is certainly something to consider.

Advantage – live-in care

So which is better?

Much like our previous article which discussed purpose built care homes vs non purpose built, the answer to this really does come to personal preference as there are advantages to both. Our advice would be to that if whoever you’re helping find care for likes being around people, enjoys activities and a community then if you can get them over the change in lifestyle of not living at home then a care home is always the best option. If you’re not sure and want to have a look at a care home then feel free to pop in for a visit, we would love to meet with you and show you round our home!

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