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

Nurse Next Door

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Are you considering around-the-clock home care for yourself or a loved one? Nurse Next Door offers both live-in and 24 hour care services to provide companionship and support. No matter what situation occurs, you’ll have a dedicated caregiver in your home to look after you and help with any additional household tasks every day.

When organizing around-the-clock care, you have the option of choosing either 24-hour home care or live-in care. 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 own home. But how do you know which is the best option for you? We discuss the differences between the two services to give you more insight into which option is more suited for you or your loved one. 

Nurse Next Door’s goal is to preserve each and every one of our clients’ sense of independence, as well as providing the reassurance that you or your loved one will always have access to support. Although live-in care and 24 hour home care may differ slightly depending on your location, here’s what you can expect when you compare  the advantages and disadvantages of both options.


Live-In Care 24 Hour home Care
Number of caregivers per day 1 caregiver Minimum 2 caregivers*
Hours per day a caregiver works 24 hours 8 or 12 hours per caregiver*
Sleeping break 8 hours Optional — decided by you
Cost Flat 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 and 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 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 other side of live-in care is that there is a 4 hour break given to the daytime caregiver with optional coverage. If you choose not to have coverage, the daytime caregiver is permitted to leave for 4 hours which leaves the client alone if a family member is unable 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.

Personal care through a caregiver

 24 Hour Home Care

With 24 hour care, two caregivers are booked daily and work 12 hours each. Sometimes clients prefer to book 3 x 8 hour visits 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. so different caregivers will be booked to cover the remaining visits. 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. For the overnight visit, the rate is billed at a flat rate if it’s a sleeping visit or an 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. Having two caregivers means that there will always be someone supervising the client – whether it’s the middle of the afternoon or the middle of the night. 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. There is also the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll always have someone ready to take care of any situations or needs that may arise at any time throughout the 24-hour period.


The potential downside of 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 option 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.

Senior companionship through nurse next door

Are you exploring home care options for Mom or Dad?

Nurse Next Door can provide around-the-clock care for your loved one.

Book a call or call us toll-free at 1-877-588-8609 to learn how Nurse Next Door home care services can help!

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