Understanding the Costs of Dementia Care: Domiciliary vs Live-In Care

21 May 2023 | Dementia Care

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be emotionally and financially challenging. In addition, as the condition progresses, individuals with dementia often require specialised care to meet their unique needs. Two standard options for dementia care are domiciliary care (also known as home care or in-home care) and live-in care. While both options have their benefits, it’s essential to understand the costs associated with each and the considerations to keep in mind when making a decision.

Domiciliary Care for Dementia

Domiciliary care refers to care provided in the individual’s home by trained caregivers. This type of care allows individuals with dementia to remain in a familiar environment and maintain their independence to some extent. Domiciliary care can include assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, and companionship. It can be tailored to the individual’s needs and provided part-time or full-time, depending on the level of care required.

Cost Considerations for Domiciliary Care

The cost of domiciliary care for dementia varies depending on factors such as the location, level of care needed, and duration of care. Generally, domiciliary care is billed hourly, and rates can vary depending on the geographic area and the specific agency or caregiver hired. Hourly rates may also vary depending on the time of day or day of the week when care is needed. It’s important to inquire about any additional fees or charges that may apply, such as for transportation or holidays.

While domiciliary care can be more affordable than other care options, it may not be as comprehensive as live-in care. In addition, domiciliary care typically provides care during certain hours of the day, and individuals with dementia may be left alone during the hours when caregivers are not present, which can pose safety concerns.

Live-In Care for Dementia

As the name suggests, live-in care involves a carer living in the individual’s home and providing round-the-clock care. Live-in carers are trained to provide personal care, companionship, and assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, medication management, and more. Live-in care provides continuous care and supervision, ensuring the person with dementia has support and assistance throughout the day and night.

Cost Considerations for Live-In Care

Live-in care tends to be more expensive than domiciliary care, as it involves 24/7 care, and the caregiver is always present. Live-in caregivers usually charge a daily rate, which may vary depending on the carer’s level of experience, location, and specific requirements of the person with dementia. It’s essential to inquire about any additional costs, such as room and board for the caregiver, as well as any potential overtime charges or fees for holidays.

Considerations for Choosing Between Domiciliary and Live-In Care

When deciding between domiciliary and live-in care for dementia, it’s crucial to consider the unique needs and preferences of the person, their family, and the financial implications. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Level of care needed

If the individual with dementia requires constant supervision and assistance, live-in care may be more appropriate. In contrast, domiciliary care may be suitable for individuals who need help only during certain hours of the day.

Safety concerns

Domiciliary care may not provide continuous supervision, which may be a concern for individuals with dementia who are at risk of wandering or have other safety concerns. Live-in care may offer greater peace of mind to ensure the individual’s safety.


Live-in care tends to be more expensive than domiciliary care, so financial considerations are important. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate the budget and determine what is feasible in terms of cost for dementia care.

Familiarity with the environment

Both domiciliary care and live-in care allow individuals with dementia to remain in their familiar home environment. This is beneficial for their emotional well-being and sense of comfort. 

Caregiver’s qualifications and experience

Whether you choose domiciliary care or live-in care, it’s essential to thoroughly vet the caregivers and ensure that they are qualified and experienced in providing care for individuals with dementia. This includes checking their certifications and references and conducting interviews to assess their knowledge and expertise in dementia care.

Support system

Consider the support system available to the individual with dementia and their family. If other family members or friends can provide additional support, domiciliary care may be a more viable option. However, if the individual requires constant care and there are limited support options, live-in care may be necessary.

At the end of the day, the most crucial factor in choosing between domiciliary and live-in care for dementia is the well-being and safety of the individual with dementia. Considering their unique needs, preferences, and financial situation, as well as consulting with professionals, will help ensure that the right decision is made to provide the best possible care for your loved one with dementia. With proper planning and consideration, you can ensure that your loved one receives the appropriate care to enhance their quality of life and well-being as they navigate the challenges of dementia.

Eximius provides high-quality care, both domiciliary and live-in care. Get in touch for a chat about how we can best support you and your loved one.

Further reading

Your Most Common Live-in Care Questions Answered

How Eximius chooses carers and companions

What happens in the early stages of dementia?

Making the Tough Call: When Is It No Longer Safe For Dementia Patients To Stay At Home