What is the Difference Between Live-in Care and 24 Hour Home Care?

Nurse Next Door

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If around-the-clock care is needed, you have the option of 24 hour home care and live-in care to ensure a caregiver will be there throughout the day and night. Both services are great alternatives to assisted living as they allow clients to receive 24/7 care from caregivers while allowing them to stay in the comfort of their home. But how do you know which one to choose? We discuss the differences between the two services to give you more insight into which option is better for you or your loved one.

Although live-in care and 24 hour home care may differ slightly by location, below is a general summary including the advantages and disadvantages of both.



Live-In Care24 Hour home Care
Number of caregivers per day1 caregiverMinimum 2 caregivers*
Hours per day a caregiver works24 hours8 or 12 hours per caregiver*
Sleeping break8 hoursOptional — decided by you
CostFlat rate per day

4 hour break coverage
(Billed hourly)

Hourly rate per day

12 hour overnight
(Billed hourly if caregiver remains awake; flat rate if caregiver can sleep)


*May vary depending on location.

Live-in Care

With live-in care, one caregiver is booked daily for a 24 hour period. One caregiver can be booked for a maximum of four to five days per week depending on the location. For the other days, a different caregiver will be booked. In the 24 hour period, a 4 hour break is given to the daytime caregiver. You can decide if you want coverage for these 4 hours or not. For a live-in shift, the caregiver is allowed an 8 hour sleeping break and a sleeping bed must be provided for this caregiver. Live-in care is billed at a flat rate per day and if the 4 hour break coverage is requested then the break is billed at an hourly rate.


The biggest advantage of having live-in care is that the number of caregivers is significantly reduced with ideally two scheduled caregivers for the whole week. This provides consistency in care and gives clients a chance to build relationships with their caregivers.

Here are some tips on how to create space in your home to accommodate a live-in caregiver.


The con to having live-in care is that there is a 4 hour break given to the daytime caregiver with optional coverage. However, if you choose not to have coverage, the daytime caregiver is permitted to leave for 4 hours which either leaves the client alone or a family member will need to cover. If you choose to have the coverage, then the 4 hour break will be an additional hourly cost to the flat live-in rate. At night, the caregiver is given a mandatory sleeping break so the client will not have direct supervision.

24 hour home care

 24 Hour Home Care

With 24 hour care, two caregivers are booked daily and work 12 hours each. Sometimes 3 x 8 hour visits are preferred in order to ensure caregivers are at their maximum level of alertness. One caregiver can work a maximum of 4 x 12 hour visits per week. For the other visits, different caregivers will be booked to cover. There is no sleeping break given to a caregiver during a 12 hour visit. However, you can allow the overnight caregiver to sleep if you choose to. 24 hour care is billed at an hourly rate. The overnight visit is billed at a flat rate if it is a sleeping visit and hourly rate if it is a non-sleeping visit.


The benefit of having 24 hour home care is that a caregiver will be with a client at all times and will be awake even throughout the night to ensure supervision of the client. Some people prefer this option as they believe caregivers are more refreshed and alert since there is at least one caregiver rotation in a 24 hour period.


The con with this option is that the cost is higher due to it being billed at an hourly rate. Live-in care roughly works out to be half the cost of 24 hour care so 24 hour home care is the more expensive alternative of the two. Also, this option has less consistency in caregivers so this might not be a good option for a client who needs familiarity.

24 hour home care

Are you exploring home care options for Mom or Dad? Nurse Next Door can provide around-the-clock care for your loved one! Learn more about Nurse Next Door’s home care services or give us a call toll-free at +1(877) 588-8609!

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Show 43 CommentsHide Comments
  • M. October 28, 2015

    Hello, I do have a question regarding Live-in Care. I work for a lady 3 days a week as a Live-in Caregiver (I am a BC certified Care Aide). Are those 4 hours break and the 8h hours of uninterrupted sleep only for caregivers who work under an agency or is my employer actually bound by law to give them. Because right now I have neither. Well, during the week a companion comes for approx 2 h but I still can’t leave the apt in case she, i.e., needs to go to the washroom (she is quadriplegic). Hope someone can answer my question. Regards, M.

    • Reply from October 29, 2015

      Hi M.,
      This would be a question that would best be answered by the B.C. Employment Standards Branch or you can view information on their website at http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca. Thanks!

  • Eleanor Cook November 4, 2015

    Hello. How much is a caregiver per day, if he/she is only needed for most of the week day and 24 hours for Saturdays and Sundays? Are there caregivers located in Baltimore City?

    • Reply from November 4, 2015

      Hi Eleanor,
      The price varies by area so the best thing would be to call 1.866.318.7932 to get more information. Unfortunately, we don’t have a location in Baltimore City at this time.

  • Lorie April 2, 2016

    I’ve recently been offered 3 – 24 hour shifts (live-in) although have not been offered the 4 hour break at all? what’s my options?

    • Reply from April 5, 2016

      Hi Lorie,
      For some clients, they’ll pay you more if you cover the 4 hour break. It might be best to look at your provincial Employment Standards depending on where you live. Hope this helps!

  • L.H April 5, 2016

    I’ve been working for an agency since November. I’ve been doing a 3 day live in shift every week at $135.00 per day in the city of Palos Verdes. Is that legal?

    • Reply from April 5, 2016

      Hi L.H,
      It’s best to check with your state employment standards as it can vary by location and type of situation. Thanks!

  • Acie May 7, 2016

    Are these employees trained CNAs and are they background checked for any and all offensives even misdemeanors? I’ve seen so many cases of abuse and theft of elderly patients.

    • Reply from May 9, 2016

      Hi Acie,
      Yes, all of our employees are trained CNA’s that go through extensive background checks. All of our caregivers and nurses are bonded and insured. Since we are an agency, we perform this on all of our caregivers before they are hired. If you hire privately, you need to ensure this is done.

  • Edna June 26, 2016

    My brother is having a pump put in his chest the doctors said he needs 24 hours care

    • Reply from June 27, 2016

      Hi Edna,
      Thanks for contacting us. We’ll have someone contact you shortly with more details. Have a great day!

  • christine July 26, 2016

    If you pay a flat rate, do you also have to add in payroll taxes or is it appropriate to let the employee do that. what is legal?

  • Tara Wallden July 26, 2016

    My Grandmother in Tillsonburg Ontario Canada is presently in the hospital. She is 96 and has had a heart attack. She was living in her home with some care given to her by visiting caregivers and family members coming by. She is very frail and needs 24 hour care. She is in hospital and we are looking into nursing homes in London Ontario close to her youngest daughter. We wanted to explore the option of having her stay in her home with the proper care and attention. Please contact me asap so that I can advise/help them with this difficult turning point . Do you have this service in this area? What is the availability? Much appreciated

    • Reply from July 27, 2016

      Hi Tara,
      Thank you for contacting us. One of our Specialists will be happy to contact you with more information. Have a great day!

  • Michelle August 11, 2016

    I have a question living in Saskatchewan I was hired as a live in caregiver 24/7 I have a room that has been provided now my question is are they required to give you time and days off and if so how much ? And also are they allowed to require that you share that living space. Say if I want to take an evening or a night off I would have to make other sleeping arrangements or sleep in the same room as relief staff where they are still on call by clients so technically not time off. Where does a person go to find rules and regulations and rights for a live in caregiver if any. Thank you

  • angela August 12, 2016

    what does live in care cost for enriched care plan

    • Reply from August 15, 2016

      Hi Angela,
      Our live-in rates can vary by area. We’ll have someone contact you shortly to give you more details. Have a great day!

  • Alescia Hartfield August 17, 2016

    I am Alescia Hartfield the 24-hour living care I know it is for me Nico’s 41 55 years old I live alone and I’m mostly by myself all the time and I like to stay busy I love working with elderly people I am in good health thanks to God very passionate with elderly people I have experience working with them also I have experience working with my own parents they need us when they get in a situation to where they can’t help themselves and that’s where I sit in to give them a helping hand also they need to know there’s people out deer who still cares and I’m one of them who will love 2 do this kind of work because I care

    • Reply from August 18, 2016

      Thank you for your passion and dedication to caregiving, Alescia!

  • J leo De percin December 11, 2016

    The services is very good provider of needs.

  • Gina Taylor January 19, 2017

    In regards to my father.

    551 404 6432

    • Reply from January 20, 2017

      Hi Gina,
      Thanks for contacting us. We’ll have someone contact you shortly with more information. Have a great day!

  • Drew Warner April 9, 2017

    Having surgery April 20th and would need someone April 20th April 21st April 22nd
    April 23rd & April 24th
    Please contact me at

    Thank you

    • Reply from April 10, 2017

      Hi Drew,
      Thanks for contacting us! We’ll have someone contact you shortly with more information. Have a great day!

  • Filomena Rodrigues April 16, 2017

    I’m carer in a nursing home. Full 8time.how many days in a row I can work ?? I’m asking because sometimes I work 8 or 10 days in a row and I’m exhausted ohh my shift is 7 hours . Thank you

    • Reply from April 17, 2017

      Hi Filomena,
      It’s best to check labor laws for your province or state depending on where you live. You’ll be able to find comprehensive details and information there regarding labor rules.

  • CC April 22, 2017

    I work with an agency as a Live-in Carer 24/7, I have a room and I have 2 hours off per day which at that time, I am replaced by another agency staff to have my break. I support a couple. I will check 3 times a week at 6 am on X to make sure X is up and ready for an appointment, I will support K early morning if K calls and both X and K all day.
    but as I am a Live-in Carer, I am working all the time and weekends. As 24/7, I am up for 7am-10.30/11pm with 2 hours off…is it a standard working process…? Thank you.

  • Dave douglas April 22, 2017

    For my mom

    • Reply from May 8, 2017

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for contacting us. We’ll have someone contact you shortly with more details. Have a great day!

  • heather nelson May 6, 2017

    father 93 years old would like to have 24 hour care in my home

    • Reply from May 8, 2017

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you for reaching out to inquire about care. Our Care Specialists would be happy to assist you as our costs vary depending on service and location. Feel free to connect with them by calling this number: 1-877-588-8609. Thank you.

  • Coreyschlifer May 9, 2017

    Hey Nurse Next Door

    Great share !!

    When an elderly parent or relative needs more care, choosing home care services can be a much better option than relocating your loved one to a nursing or retirement home. In-home senior care can help a senior cope much better with their changing circumstances. Usually, a senior will prefer to live at home rather than move to unfamiliar surroundings.However, if more advanced care is needed than just basic assistance home care, you will usually have to options to choose from:
    Live-In Care
    24 Hour Care
    Both of these services are much better alternatives to a nursing home because they allow a senior to continue living at home and receive care services that they require 24/7. But, it can be difficult to choose which of these services is best.

    keep posting
    Have a great day

    • Reply from May 9, 2017

      Thanks for sharing, Corey! We appreciate your insight into this topic.

  • Merrell Hill May 13, 2017

    Will need any help I can get he is still in denial , sometimes contrary, I had to quit work to take care of him.

    • Reply from May 15, 2017

      Hi Merrell,
      Thanks for contacting us. We understand the difficult situation you are in and will have someone contact you shortly with more information about our services. Have a great day!

  • Eric Stinson May 18, 2017

    I,hope to here from. You soon.

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