The big difference between a live in home health aide and 24-hour care is sleep. I know that might sound silly but a live in home health aide needs time off so they can rest. The rule of thumb is they get 8 hours to rest and sleep each day. On the other hand, 24-hour care means there is someone there on duty and ready to care for your loved one 24-hours a day.
A live in companion works well for someone who needs help while they are awake but sleeps through the night. Or someone who can manage on their own through the night. When someone can’t manage on their own through the night – for example they need help going to the bathroom multiple times each night or get up and wander or need any other type of nighttime help – they need round the clock care.
Multiple people provide round the clock care usually in three 8-hour shifts or two 12-hour shifts. One person is always working to provide care for your loved one. Your loved one is never on her own.
The cost of a live in companion is less than the cost for 24-hour care. You usually pay live in companions are flat daily rate. The daily rate incorporates time off. You pay multiple home health aides – who combined provide 24-hour care – hourly. The reality of 24-hour care is that it can be extremely expensive – possibly as much or more than a room in a nursing home. The benefit, of course, is the person can stay home if that’s the goal of their care plan.