What’s The Difference Between Assisted Living and Homecare?

What’s The Difference Between Assisted Living and Homecare?


This is a question we’re often asked and let’s face it, finding the right care for an elderly loved one can be an emotional and stressful process. Getting it right is absolutely crucial, so it’s important to start by recognising the differences between assisted living and homecare service which is something we offer here at Birchwood Care Services.


Homecare: 
Home-based caregiving from Birchwood Care Services is an ideal solution for those elderly people who wish to stay in the comfort of their own home, but also need ongoing care that family members and friends cannot provide. Most at-home care plans include everything from:

  • Personal care, such as bathing and shaving
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Companionship
  • Laundry
  • Pet feeding
  • Shopping
  • Errands
  • Transportation
  • Light housekeeping

The main advantages of the homecare service we offer to our clients in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks are that the elderly person is able to remain independent, often enabling couples to stay together in the comfort of their own home. They can identify and opt for whatever level of support they require – and if they are alone, there is always a smiling face and a companion to look forward to seeing every day.

Assisted Living:
Assisted living is different to homecare. You have some form of independence – living in your own self-contained flat and having your own front door, but there are usually staff available to provide support where required. According to the Age UK website, common features for assisted living include:

  • Help from a scheme manager (warden) or a team of support staff
  • 24-hour emergency help through an alarm system.
  • Social activities arranged for the community.
  • A minimum age for residents, usually 55 or 60.
  • Self-contained flats allow you to stay independent.
  • Communal lounges allowing you to socialise as and when you feel like it.

So what’s the best option?
When deciding the most appropriate option between homecare and assisted living, it’s important to think about individual circumstances. Assisted living is great for those who want to retain their independence, aren’t quite ready to move into a care home but want the security of extra support that’s there if they need it whereas homecare is more suited to elderly people who want to stay in their own home, but just need that extra level of support and care.

As soon as someone requires round the clock care, it’s then more appropriate for them to look at either a care home – with many of our clients moving into Birchwood House, or live-in-care if they want to stay in their own home. If you’re not sure if your loved one needs a care home or live-in-care, then here is a great guide that gives more information.

We hope this is a useful and relevant guide. If you’re not still not sure about the type of care your loved one needs then we’re very happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff on 01892 863 710 – we would love to hear from you!

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