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Organising care for yourself or a loved one can feel like a daunting process. With various different types of care available these days, it can be tricky to determine which service is best.

However, two popular types of home care that are worth looking into are hourly care and live-in care. Both services are designed to improve the quality of life by offering people the care they need at home – with the difference between them lying in the amount of time that a carer spends with you or your loved one.

Both live-in care and hourly care carry their own benefits – and which you choose can depend on a variety of factors including cost, social isolation, and the complexity of care needs.

With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with UK care provider, Curam, to take a closer look at the benefits of both live-in care and hourly care.

Curam’s founders have first-hand experience in the health and care sector and believe that you, the client, are the best person to choose your carer. So, we hope you find the information useful.

What is live-in care?

What is live-in care

Live-in care involves having someone live with you at home to provide around-the-clock care and support.

Responsibilities of a live-in carer include everything from companionship and emotional support to help with personal care and domestic tasks like cooking and cleaning. Where necessary, specialist live-in care can also be provided for people with conditions like dementia.

Live-in care is a great option for individuals who need care but wish to maintain their independence, and most importantly, remain in the comfort of their own home. For this reason, live-in care is a popular alternative to care homes for anyone who has comprehensive care needs that can be met at home.

When live-in care is long-term, carers typically require breaks every two or three weeks to prevent burnout, and to make sure the best quality of care is delivered. For efficiency, at Curam, two live-in carers often work in rotation with each other.

This means that clients are able to receive care from the same carers, which isn’t always possible with care agencies. This sense of familiarity can make all the difference, particularly in cases of dementia or other progressive disease.

Plus, in cases where your usual carer is away, because Curam carers work in ‘micro teams’, clients can easily view other team member details online and choose a replacement if they want to.

What is hourly care?

What is hourly care

Unlike having a carer live with you 24-7, hourly care involves occasional care visits as and when they’re needed.

For example, hourly carers can stop by to complete household tasks, take people to medical appointments, or pay more regular visits for companionship purposes.

For this reason, hourly care offers people the security of having on-hand care when it’s needed, but is also highly flexible and allows people to maintain their space and independence.

As a result, hourly care is suitable for many people who have care needs at home but don’t require permanent or round-the-clock support.

Live-in care vs hourly care – what are the benefits?

Live-in care vs hourly care – what are the benefits

Both live-in care and hourly care have their own benefits and which one suits your loved one – or you – best will depend on personal circumstances.

Below, we’ll compare some of the benefits of live-in care and hourly care in relation to different care needs and preferences.

Remaining at home

According to a recent survey, 97% of people say they’d prefer to carry on living at home rather than moving into a care home.

If this is a main priority for you or your loved one, the good news is that both live-in care and hourly care allow people to remain at home – provided their care needs can be met there.

There are many benefits to receiving care at home. For example, it can help people maintain their sense of dignity, independence, and comfort, and avoid the emotional disruption of having to move out of a much-loved home – all of which are important for overall happiness and wellbeing.

Ability to meet care needs

The complexity of care needs is a key factor in determining the right kind of care for you.

If your care needs aren’t so complex that you require 24/7 care, then hourly care might be right for you. Examples include needing help with household tasks or trips to medical appointments but being able to look after yourself the rest of the time.

However, if your care needs are more complex and you require more permanent assistance, live-in care might be more suitable. Live-in care is the most comprehensive form of care outside of care homes.

Many live-in carers are also trained to provide specialist care for people with ongoing health conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons whilst at Curam, clients and their families have access to free specialist on-line training courses.


It’s important that someone can personally choose their carer and in some cases care providers have an interview process in place, which allows clients to meet potential carers beforehand to see if they’d be a good fit.

For example, with Curam, clients have choice and control over who is caring for them. Using their website or app, they can easily search for local carers, read their profiles, watch personal introductory videos, interview, and message carers, and have the final say on what their responsibilities will be.

Research has found that struggling with loneliness and isolation is an incredibly common problem amongst elderly people. According to Age UK, around 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely.

Both loneliness and isolation are linked with a significantly greater risk of developing various physical and mental health conditions, including cognitive decline and a weakened immune system. For example, in this study, social isolation was found to increase the risk of dementia by around 50%.

As a result, making sure a person’s social needs are equally cared for alongside their physical health is important for their overall wellbeing. And while both live-in care and hourly care offer some form of companionship, the levels vary.

Live-in carers spend hours with those they care for each day, which results in a greater focus being placed on social care and companionship. Many people develop deep relationships with their carers – and having someone there to listen, reassure, and chat to can remind them that they’re not alone.

On the other hand, hourly carers are much more limited on time for friendly chats alongside their personal and household care duties. Some hourly carers will visit multiple clients in a day and have a timetable to stick to. Therefore, people who receive hourly care may have minimal (or at least, significantly less) social interaction with their carers.

That being said, it’s important to remember that this isn’t always the case. For some people, having someone pop in each day is all they need. And, because hourly care often involves a larger team of carers, some people enjoy being able to interact with a variety of people.

Flexible, personalised care

While both hourly and live-in carers can help with personal and household needs, live-in care can sometimes be made more flexible and personalised.

One reason for this is that live-in carers aren’t tied to multiple clients, which means they can carry out care at a time or pace that’s best for you.

Plus, because you’ll spend a lot of time together, live-in carers will learn more about your likes and dislikes, which can make the care you receive more personal. Even having someone know what your favourite meals are can make all the difference.

Maintaining independence

Losing independence is one of the most common concerns among people looking for care. It’s also a key reason that so many people prefer to receive care at home over moving into a care home.

Hourly care can be an extremely convenient choice for people who require care but want to carry on their daily routines and way of life with little disruption.

However, to receive live-in care, a higher degree of change is required. This is because live-in carers will live alongside you and require bedroom accommodation in your home. Some people find it difficult to adjust to this change in living arrangements – particularly if they’ve lived on their own for a while.

That being said, it largely depends on how the person needing care perceives independence. For example, while some people see having a carer move into their home as a loss of independence, others find great freedom in no longer having to rely on family and friends for help.


According to Age UK, as many as 600,000 older people only leave their house once a week or less, 900,000 feel trapped in their home, and three million would like to go out more often.

Not being able to leave home without help from a carer or relative can be very restricting. So, receiving care can make all the difference.

Live-in care is the most flexible and opportunistic option for those looking for maximum freedom, and to leave the house whenever they wish. Live-in carers can be on hand to help people engage with activities outside their home if and when they want to. For example, going shopping, attending community and family events, taking up hobbies, making social connections, or visiting nearby attractions.

There is also quite a lot of flexibility around hourly care though obviously limited by the number of hours the carer is available. If you receive hourly care and would like support for trips outside of your home, then the carers on Curam will be delighted to assist.

Peace of mind

A huge benefit of receiving care is the assurance and peace of mind it can provide for the person and their loved ones.

Hourly care can be incredibly useful for families who are able to help care for loved ones but would like some support. Being able to rely on hourly carers at times of the day when you’re not around can be a big support – and very often, takes a huge amount of pressure away.

In contrast, live-in care can be more suitable for people whose families aren’t able to help out with care, or if the care needs are more complex.

Knowing that someone is there to administer care to your loved one 24/7 can relieve huge amounts of worry – for example, over whether they might’ve had a fall or forgotten to take their medication.

Because Curam is the UK’s biggest online care platform – with nearly 9,000 fully vetted and DBS checked carers – people can find emergency care in as little as 30 minutes and have genuine choice and control over who they hire. A carer can start working for someone on the same day, giving people who are stuck in hospital a safe and effective way of getting home quickly.

Care cost

To make sure care can be delivered long-term, it’s important to consider the cost of different care services.

The cost of both live-in care and hourly care will vary depending on a person’s care needs and where you live. Hourly care is charged at an hourly rate, whereas live-in care fees are charged on a weekly basis.

Because Curam’s unique, bespoke software effectively manages the relationship between the carer and the client, administration costs are significantly reduced and clients save typically 10-20% on average agency rates.

According to Curam, the minimum rate charged by hourly carers on their platform is £14.06 per hour; while, for live-in care, the average weekly rate is £1040, with rates starting at £770 per week. However, these costs will vary depending on where you live in the UK.

To get an idea of the cost of live-in care and hourly care in your area, you can visit Curam’s website using the buttons below.

Curam also has further information and guidance about how to fund live-in care and how to fund hourly care, which you may find useful.

Final thoughts…

If you or a loved one needs care but would like to remain in the comfort of your own home, both live-in care and hourly care are options worth considering.

Whichever form of care best suits your preferences and care needs, there are a whole host of benefits to receiving care – including peace of mind, reduced social isolation and loneliness, and greater independence.

If you’d like to learn more about arranging live-in care and hourly care, head over to Curam’s website below.

Or, for further reading head over to the care section of our website. Here, you’ll find information on everything from paying for care to guidance and support for carers.

Have you got any experience of live-in care or hourly care? What do you think are the benefits of each? We’d be interested to hear from you in the comments below.