When families call us asking questions, there are only two types of private home care services we generally speak with them about.

Those are hourly care (probably 70% of the time) and then live-in care (29%) with the other 1% being “other.”

That is because when it comes to hiring a 1-1 caregiver, those are the two options most private agencies can provide.

So today I figured we would go over those two types of private home care services.



Hourly care is when you pay by the hour for a caregiver to come into your home.

When receiving hourly care, you get to decide on which days and which hours you wish to have care services.  We can provide from a few hours of care per day all the way up to 24 hours per day.

As the customer you can let us know which times of the day you need care, it is our job to fill those shifts.

Hourly caregivers are expected to do their job awake regardless of which shift they have.  If it’s the afternoon or late a night, they should be awake and ready to provide care.

There are instances where caregivers are allowed to “rest their eyes.”  What that means is they are lightly dozing in a chair.  Usually, when this is approved a bell can be rung or even better, the client can reach out to touch the caregiver and alert them that they need help.

This isn’t necessarily the norm, but clients have said this is okay.  Even I was okay with this when my mom had 24 hours of care.  My only requirement was, if she needs help, you shouldn’t be out cold and unresponsive to her needs.

Now, there are some cases where it is imperative that a caregiver stays awake at night (and this is usually the situation with most overnight cases).  When that occurs, we will pull a caregiver out of a case quickly if they are dozing off on the case.

So let your agency know what you expect when it comes to overnight hourly care – and be firm.

With hourly care, you are paying by the hour for these services, so it is good to know how much these services cost in your area.  Check out this post for the 50+ Best Caregiving Tools and look under the ‘cost of care and payment’ section for some great tools.


Live-In Care

Live-in care is when a caregiver moves into the client’s home and lives with them providing care.

Some agencies allow a caregiver to live their indefinitely.  7-days a week for months or years on end.

At Minute Women, we like to have a 4/3 split for a few reasons.

  1. You have a back up the knows the lay of the land if one of the caregivers has their emergency.  You are not scrambling to try and figure out a solution if a caregiver has a death in the family
  2. It allows flexibility with scheduling for more mundane but necessary tasks for a caregiver (oil changes, family events, etc.)
  3. It prevents caregiver burnout

So check with your agency on how they schedule live-in care situations.

With live-in care, there are some benefits that you receive with these services.

  1. You have a limited amount of caregivers.  This is nice because of the less new faces, the better for older adults.  Having 7-9 caregivers on a standard 24/7 hourly case can be a huge adjustment for anyone, but especially for an older adult with memory issues.
  2. You have continuity of caregivers.  Live-in caregivers can be in cases for months or years at a time, while with hourly care there can be more changes that occur.
  3.  24-hour emergency response.  With a caregiver in the home all the time.  Someone is always available if an emergency occurs.
  4. The cost is less than hourly care.  It is the best care to cost ratio available.

So with a live-in, the requirements are:

  1. The caregiver can sleep throughout the night.  Straight through with no interruptions.  If interruptions do occur (in our state), we need to pay the caregiver for the time they assisted the client (and unfortunately means we need to charge the client).
  2. The caregiver has a private room with a TV.  A place to unwind and sleep and have some private time.  Something most people do not find unreasonable.  We do get asked, will a pull-out couch work, well in our state no.  Depending on the laws.  If it were legal, I would be okay with it for a weekend, but not ongoing.

Live-in services are charged on a per day basis. You are paying a flat fee for the day you are receiving.   So the cost is a lot less than hourly care, but you are not getting full 1-1 24/7 coverage.  The caregiver is there overnight in case an emergency happens.

So there you have it, the two different types of private home care services you can get from a non-medical private home care agency.