Care Home or Home Care?

Recent figures have shown that nearly everyone wants to receive care services in our own homes when we get older. But there are circumstances under which you’ll need to consider choosing a care home instead. How do you decide what’s best for you? And how much will it all cost?

Thinking Through Your Options

The most common decision you need to make when considering what your care needs are is whether you’ll be able to remain in your own home or if you will need to, or would prefer, to move into a care home. Your decision will be based upon your own circumstances and the services you require, but you’ll also need to think about the financial implications.

Care Homes

There are two main types of care home.  Residential homes without nursing care that provide help and assistance with personal care and nursing homes that have registered nurses on site 24 hours a day to cope with any nursing requirement.  You will be able to live in both kinds of home, with your spouse if you’d like, and have your care needs met by trained staff.  Some homes have accommodation and support for older people with dementia as well.


According to PayingForCare, depending on the location, care homes cost an average of £28,500 per year for a residential care home, or £37,500 per year if nursing is required.  But it’s definitely worth looking into the specific costs in your area as care homes in Sheffield will have different rates to those in, say London.

Pros and Cons

There are many benefits to living in a care home.  Trained staff are always on hand, you will always have company when you want it, there will often be organised activities to take part in and you’ll have no need to worry about household chores, meals or bills.  Living in a care home is safe and secure.  However, like with everything, there are also some disadvantage to consider.  You’ll need to fit all of your belongings in one room, you may feel that you’ve lost some of your independence and you might not be allowed pets, though some care homes do facilitate this.

Home Care

This is where you receive regular visits from a home care worker, in your own home, to help with personal care, shopping and preparing meals.  There are also other services you can utilize to make it easier for you to remain at home.  These include ‘meals on wheels’, monitored personal alarms and household equipment to help with everyday tasks.  There are also usually local day centres where you can socialise and enjoy various activities, with transport available to get you there and back.


On average, home care costs around £11,000 per year if you have a carer coming in for 14 hours a week, £30,000 per year for full-time care during the day, or £65,000 per year for carers day and night however this could be less depending on what your needs are.

Pros and Cons

The obvious benefit to home care is that you get to stay in your own home, but it’s also worth noting that the value of your home isn’t taken into account when calculating how much you have to pay towards your care.  You’ll get to stay close to what’s familiar to you and retain full control over the care and support you receive.  However, living on your own can get lonely and despite alarm systems and regular visits from carers, you could still be at risk.  Home modifications and equipment can sometimes be unsightly and they can affect the value of your property.  Also, you may not like the idea of support workers coming into your home.


Choosing which care option is right for you is an entirely individual process.  The right choice is dependent on so many different factors – your preferences, your care needs, the cost – the list goes on.  It helps to know what the facts are with regards to finances and also what the pros and cons are.  You can take advice from family members, service providers and outside agencies, but in the end only you know what feels right for you.