The difference between home care and a care home, and the benefits of home care for your loved one

12 March, 2024

Posted in: Blogs

Many of us eventually find ourselves with the difficult choice between home care or a care home, for yourself or a loved one.


Finding care for a family member or friend is a very important decision and requires time, research, and planning. Despite home care being the most cost-effective solution, you may still feel find the decision difficult. Are you struggling to compare the various options available, or maybe you need to source care urgently – for example, if your loved one has just been discharged from hospital.


There are many differences between the types of care available to consider, and home care vs. care home services is the choice people most often must make. It is important you make a well-informed choice.


This blog aims to help you get better clarity of the options available so that you can decide what will work best for you and your family’s needs.


What is home care?

Home care is care provided to you in your own home. This may be that a carer lives with you (live-in care), visits you regularly (visiting care) or provides specialist care. These care services are tailored to your needs, whether you require assistance with dressing or eating, or need round-the-clock support.


What is it like to have home care?

The ultimate benefit of home care is that you don’t have to leave your home behind. You can continue as normal, with the safety that your care needs will still be supported by the home care team. Care is planned for whenever you need it (day or night), and you can always expect a friendly face, companionship, and lots of help with caring for yourself or your loved one.


What is a care home?

Care homes are providing accommodation 24-7 with personal care and support for those who need it. Typically care homes fall into two categories being residential and nursing. Some care homes offer both residential and nursing care, and there are care homes which offer day trips and activities too. It’s important to thoroughly research the care homes you may be considering, as well as the other care options that are available.


What is the difference between a residential home and a nursing home?

A residential or nursing care home will provide full time accommodation, support, and personal care. This will include things like washing, dressing, taking medication and using the toilet. The difference being that with a nursing home you will receive care for a complex medical condition (which requires the help of a qualified nurse) or severe mental or learning disabilities.


What is it like living in a care home?

In a care home, you’ll have your own bedroom where you can store some personal items and make it feel a little more homely. There are communal areas where you can sit, talk with other residents, or engage in the activities put on by the care home. Often mealtimes are planned for you, and visiting times depend on the individual care home. There is sometimes an outdoor area to enjoy too, although not all care homes have this facility and access may depend on your type of care. For example, if your medical needs mean you are unable to move without supervision, you may only be able to use the outdoor facilities if a member of staff is available to help.


The benefits of home care

Generally, the benefits of home care tend to outweigh those of a care home. Unlike a care home, our home care services provide our service users with one-to-one, person-centred care in the comfort of their own home, as well as help doing the things they enjoy at home. This could be eating their favourite meal, watching a regular TV programme, getting fresh air on a walk, or visiting local parks, regardless of what you need, our carers will be there every step of the way. Our home care clients receive the undivided attention of our carers throughout the duration of their visit, and we provide regular, real-time feedback on how your loved one is getting on.


We use a mobile app which allows family members to view daily notes after each home care visit, giving you peace of mind and a detailed account of each one. As well as delivering personal care, our carers get to know your loved one, including what they like and dislike, and they will ensure that each visit is tailored to your loved one’s wants and needs.


Leaving the home can be particularly distressing for some people, even more so when this means they have to say goodbye to friends, neighbours, and support groups, such as day centres. Alternatively, our home carers are here to ensure our clients can still access these lifelines which are essential in retaining independence and promoting their wellbeing. If you have been considering a care home because your loved one requires continuous care and support, live-in care is also a great alternative.


Why choose home care with St Margarets Home Care Limited?

At St Margarets Homecare Care, we are proud to offer an award-winning care service, and one that’s often preferred over residential care.


Founded in 1989, by John & Wendy Kneller, we are a thriving family-run home care agency led by an experienced team of Directors and managers, who themselves have worked on the frontline of care. 35 years and counting, our person-centred values are still deeply rooted in everything we do, and our home carers are trained and qualified to the highest industry standards.


We at St Margarets Homecare have put our clients in charge of their own choices, worked to further educate and qualify ourselves and our employees, and sincerely care about the people who we have a responsibility to, and we always will. With us you can rest assured that your loved one will receive the same level of care that we would provide for our own loved ones, and no job is too big or too small for our carers.


All our care at home services are bespoke and tailored to fit around the needs of you or your loved one and, if it is your choice, we can include your family in the planning of care. Helping our clients remain in the comfort of their own homes and retain their independence is our number one priority.


To us, home is somewhere that brings familiarity, comfort, and security, and we believe that everyone should have the choice to stay in the place they call home.


In 2023, we were awarded the Top 20 Home Care Groups in the UK. To find out how our home care services could help you, or to speak to our care experts, contact us.


A quick chat with one of our home care specialists can help you decide on the right level of care to suit you or your loved one. We have a range of affordable care solutions and a passionate and professional care team that are waiting for your call.


We’re here for you and are happy to assist your family at any time.


Give us a call at:


Harrogate           01423 276249

Selby                      01757 210841

York                         01757 210841

Or email: