What’s the Difference Between Live-In Care & a Care Home?

Often, making the decision to find care for a loved one is a painful and difficult one. You want to do what’s best for them, and ensure they are – above anything else – happy and healthy. The choice of care often comes down to live-in care or a care home, but what’s the difference between the two?

Care Home Pros

There are many benefits of opting for a care home for your loved one, especially if they have specific or complex care requirements. Care homes are a safe, and secure environment – staff are usually on hand (or at least on call) 24/7 – which can provide you with peace of mind.


Care homes will provide regular meals, will supervise with any medication, and will provide residents with a room of their own, Care homes can also provide companionship, with your loved one able to socialise with others and take part in organised activities.


Financially, you don’t have to worry about household bills or upkeep which can sometimes be a burden on family members.

Care Home Cons

You might not have to worry about household bills, but care home fees can be very expensive – particularly if your loved one has to fund their own care. Local authority funding is available, but this is provided on a case-by-case basis.


As such, the choice of care home could be limited. Your loved one may need to move further away due to cost, specialist care required, or simply due to a lack of space at local care homes. There are also variations in care. All homes must meet a minimum standard, but the quality of care can vary.


This can result in them feeling isolated, cut-off, and rejected by their loved ones. They may lose contact with neighbours and old friends, and distance may make it difficult for family to visit regularly.  Care homes can also see your loved ones lose their independence as they become reliant on their carers, especially if they are in an unfamiliar location and are cut-off from their friends and family. 


Care homes will give your loved one their own room, but the small space means they won’t be able to take all of their possessions; something which can be unsettling and upsetting. The lack of privacy in a communal living space can also take some getting used to.

Live-In Care Pros

Live-in care is a great care home alternative as it allows your loved one to stay at home. They are in a familiar, safe environment, with friends, neighbours and family close by. There’s no upheaval, which makes the transition easier, and couples can stay together. 


They can even keep their pets! With a home carer, you know that your loved one is getting completely tailored care by someone who understands their needs. Live-in carers can take the strain by helping with everyday tasks as well as offering the support and care your loved one needs.


They provide companionship for your loved ones to stop them feeling isolated, and a live-in carer is someone they can enjoy day trips with or just a chat over a coffee. This can boost self-esteem and take the pressure off you and your family. They also give you peace of mind that your loved one is safe, secure, and happy.

Live-In Care Cons

If you have complex requirements, you may struggle to find the right person however the right live-in care company should be able to assist. You will need to find someone you’re all comfortable with, as live-in carers will be staying in the home with your loved one. If the property doesn’t have a private bedroom, live-in care isn’t an option.


Live-in care can also be costly – but is often cheaper than care home costs. Live-in care can be more cost effective for couples as they pay for one carer, but would need to pay for two care home spaces.


Finally, you do need to consider the needs of the carer. They will need annual leave, which means the personnel will change occasionally. Using a managed service can make this easier and organise short-term cover for you.



To find out more about live-in care in Birmingham provided by Four Oaks Healthcare, or to speak to someone about your home care requirements, call us on 0333 772 0156 or email info@fouroakshealthcare.co.uk today.

What Everyday Tasks do Live-In Carers Do?

Live-in care is often seen as a favourable care home alternative as it allows people to retain as much independence as they want, whilst feeling happy, comfortable, and cared for in their own home. It’s why live-in care in Birmingham is becoming an increasingly popular choice.


Home carers carry out a range of everyday tasks, with specifics depending on the needs of the person in their care. Here are some of the everyday tasks live-in carers can carry out.

Everyday Domestic Tasks

Home carers can undertake a host of everyday domestic tasks helping to keep the home clean and comfortable including general cleaning and tidying, the washing-up, laundry, gardening, shopping, and pet care.


Live-in carers aren’t full-time housekeepers, gardeners, or secretaries though. In some cases, we may recommend that additional support is required to ensure the best possible care and environment for the person being cared for.

Diet And Nutrition

There’s nothing quite like a homecooked meal, which is why diet and nutrition comes under one of the everyday tasks undertaken by home carers. They can help by shopping for groceries, preparing food, and ensuring your loved one always has enough to eat and drink.


Live-in carers also understand that some medical conditions will require specific diets, or special ways of preparing food. They can prepare meals that not only appeal to your loved one’s personal tastes, but also meet any specific needs. It’s the level of tailored and personal care that’s seen live-in care in Birmingham grow.

Companionship And Support

One of the most valued aspects of live-in care is the companionship and support they can offer your loved one. For many people, simply having a friendly face they can chat to everyday takes away their loneliness and is more important than any day-to-day household task they may undertake.


If friends and family are only able to visit infrequently, live-in carers are someone to share quality time with. This can be hugely comforting and therapeutic. Home carers become trusted companions and extensions of the family; they become someone to enjoy days out with, share hobbies with, and someone to chat to with a cup of tea.

Peace Of Mind

Live-in carers provide you with the peace of mind that your loved one is safe, secure, and cared for in an environment they’re comfortable and happy in. You know that a trained professional – who is also compassionate and trustworthy – is taking care of your loved one and can respond quickly in an emergency. 


Knowing that someone is there, 24/7, is reassuring. Especially if you can’t be. Live-in carers take away any guilt you may feel for not being around all the time and allow you to enjoy quality time with your loved ones – free from stress, worry, and concerns about their wellbeing.


To find out more about Birmingham live-in care provided by Four Oaks Healthcare, or to speak to a someone about your home care requirements, call us on 0333 772 0156 or email info@fouroakshealthcare.co.uk today.

5 Tips To Improve Mental Health

It’s reported that 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems in the UK every year.  Whilst there are a number of fantastic causes specialising in mental health support and awareness has grown, there is often still a stigma attached to the illness, which can discourage many from speaking out and seeking help.


Issues with mental health differ from person to person – our brains all work differently – however there are a number of things you can do to help ease your mind, particularly if you are feeling additionally stressed, anxious, panicked or depressed.

1.Understand your triggers

We all have different triggers for our mental health: from relationships, work, people who don’t make us feel good about ourselves, uncomfortable environments and more.  In understanding what your triggers are, you’re able to pre-empt and manage the situation, preparing yourself to maintain control.


To pinpoint your triggers begin by asking yourself a series of questions:

  • Is there a common theme between times my mental health feels delicate?
  • Is there a change coming in life which I’m worried about?
  • Is something at work making me worry?
  • Am I happy in my relationships?
  • Is there anything that could be making me feel stressed?
  • When was the last time I felt like this? What had happened beforehand?

You may find themes in these responses that can help you to further understand what triggers your well being.

2.Try to be more active

Exercise and physical activity releases endorphins, which are proven to have a significant impact of our well-being and self esteem. At times going to the gym may feel like the last thing we want to do, however physical activity doesn’t need to revolve around a gym or exercise class.


There are many exercise videos available on Youtube and other streaming providers, which you can partake in at home. If you have a dog, taking your fur friend for a walk can help to clear your mind and reset your mental health. Or simply a brisk walk or jog around the streets or park can do the trick.


Listening to music that your enjoy also releases dopamine that is proven to enhance moods and stimulate a positive state of mind.  It’s great for stress relief and when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed can help to improve your well being.

3.Detail your worries

Worry plays a large part in our mental health, as often we worry about things which are out of our control, or think of the worst case scenario in events.


If you find yourself worrying throughout the night in particular and it’s preventing you from sleeping, jot your worries down – they’ll tend to fall into hypothetical situations and current problems.


In the morning you can then read back your concerns and divide them into those you can resolve (and aim to get them resolved) and those out of your control. Those out of your control (or hypothetical) you want to forget by changing your mentality to focus on those your can resolve and doing so.


The more you participate in the worry tree and jotting those concerns down, the more you’ll come to see that they’re mainly hypothetical .

4.Consider your social media exposure

More and more social media is being linked with mental well being and self esteem.  It’s extremely easy to look at the life of another how it’s portrayed on social media and feel that you lack.  This could be lacking the latest outfits, designer goods, holidays, money, relationships etc. It’s important to remember that this image is a tiny snapshot into that person’s life and it’s often not a true representation of their life.


Focus on following social media accounts that increase you self esteem and make you feel good about yourself: from inspirational quotes, to photos of animals, and more.


Stop comparing your life to that of others.

5. Remember it’s okay not to be okay.

There’s absolutely no shame in admitting that you’re not okay and that you’re struggling with your mental health.  Acknowledging is the first step to acceptance and management.



If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health illness and you need support, speak to our team today.  The news may be life changing, but you don’t need to lose your independence. Our dedicated carers are available to support you and your family in the comfort of your home, with live in care or homecare services. Contact us today to find out which is best for your needs.

How To Get Live In Care In Birmingham

There may become a time in your life, or that of a relative, whereby you require support in your day to day life. Care homes are options for many, however a growing number of people prefer to remain in their own home and have a carer live with them.


Live In Care allows you to retain your full independence in the comfort of your own home, whilst having a professional and caring person there to assist you when needed.

What is live-in care?

Live-in care is a modern, full-time care solution that allows you to stay at home in familiar, relaxed surroundings with a comfortable routine and everything the way you want it. Live-in care is a realistic alternative to a care home or nursing home.


Our Live-in care service meets all areas of your health care, emotional and social needs. It supports your well-being and maximises independence, enabling you or a loved one to remain active and engaged with the people who matter most. Living at home allows people to spend more time with their families, feel safe in a familiar environment and remain part of their local community.

Can you get live-in care in Birmingham?

You can experience live-in care services in Birmingham, it’s one of our core service areas and where our headquarters is based.  In order to apply for live-in care, speak to our specialist team today who will be able to advise you on the best type of homecare for your needs.

Who can benefit from Birmingham live-in care?

A wide variety of customers in Birmingham and surrounding areas can benefit from live-in care services: patients of all ages, from childhood through to the elderly. All live in care is tailored to suit the age, condition and personality of the care receiver.


Live in care is ideal for a number of conditions and disabilities, including Dementia, Huntington’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injury, Brain Injury and Convalescence.


Unlike a care home, the care provided with live-in care is uniquely tailored for each person. This means that no care receivers care plan and price will be the same as another. The cost of the care provided will depend closely on the level of care required. Our consultants will be able to advise you on this fee during your initial consultation

How Does Live In Care Work?

Live-in care is a full-time care solution that allows your loved ones to stay in their own home and surroundings whilst being cared for by professional carers, twenty four hours a day.  It’s a great alternative to a care home or nursing home, as your loved one gets to remain in familiar surroundings.

Utilising live-in care allows your loved ones to feel independent, spend more time with family and remain part of their local community: all with a specialist carer on hand to support them when they’re feeling low or require health care.

Live-In Care Gives Peace Of Mind

It can be a worrying time when your loved one’s health is declining, and the last thing you want to do is take away their independence; therefore making live-in care the ideal option to give you the peace of mind that they’re being cared for, whilst they remain in complete comfort.

Elderly relatives may feel lonely following the loss of a loved one, or if they lose the ability to be as mobile as they once were. A live-in carer allows them to build a relationship with someone that they know and trust; providing them with companionship as well as any physical help and medical care they may need.

What’s The Difference Between Live-In Care & Home Care?

A live-in carer resides in the home with your loved one, enabling care for them twenty four hours per day; whilst a home carer visits at predetermined times during the day.

Both have unique benefits: a live-in carer will help with day to day domestics and provides constantly social support (as well as medical) for your loved one; whereas a home carer allows your loved one to have less of a schedule and still partake in social events outside of the home, as the visits are scheduled ahead of time.

What Illnesses Can Live-In Carers Support With?

Highly trained live-in carers can help to support your loved ones and offer support for a number of illnesses including:

  • Dementia
  • Complex Care
  • Brain Injury
  • Spinal Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Muscular Dystrophy

Everything live-in carers do is focused on supporting people of all ages to fulfil their potential and live independently.  They work closely with your relatives to truly understand the challenges they face daily and how they can help to overcome them.  At every level, it’s about maintaining the dignity, privacy and individuality of your relatives.

For more information about our Live-In Care services, please contact our team today by calling 0333 772 0156.

5 Exercises For The Elderly

As we grow older remaining active through regular exercise can become more difficult; however there are many forms of light exercise that can be undertaken to have your loved ones remain healthier for longer.

1. A Leisurely Stroll

Maintaining exercise doesn’t mean you need to sign up to a gym, a leisurely stroll can do wonders not only for your loved one’s physical health, but also their mental health.  Research has found that for those living with dementia physical activity can help to delay the decline of cognitive function and reduce depression by up to 30%.

2. Chair Exercises

For those that struggle with mobility, exercising within a sturdy chair is an ideal way to start getting the blood pumping.  Start with movement in the ankles and upper body; twisting and stretching to build up flexibility and strength in those areas.  Once your loved one feels comfortable enough, they can also try using the chair to balance themselves whilst standing and stretching.  

3. Local Classes

Many local communities have groups throughout the week dedicated to older residents.  These groups are not only a lovely way for your loved one to socialise with others, but they often hold exercise or dance classes for the elderly.  In a zero pressure environment, with a number of peers these local classes are ideal for those who are a little more mobile and can be built into a weekly routine.

4. Aqua Classes

Aqua classes are excellent for those with arthritis as the water puts less pressure on joints, and can help to ease pain.  Although there is resistance from the water on limbs and joints, the weight of this is much lighter than if out of water, so is a great way to strengthen muscles and improve bone density.  Most local leisure centres offer aqua classes, so again this also provides an opportunity for socialising and creating a routine.

5. Gardening

We all enjoy keeping our gardens looking like Ground Force visited, but gardening can also be excellent for your health and physical exercise too.  From mowing the lawn, to the physical exertion of planting and pruning; a simple half an hour of gardening can do joints (and your garden) wonders.


Live-In Carers can support your loved ones in achieving these fitness goals and maintaining their physical health.  For more information regarding our live in care services please call 0333 772 0156.

Accepting Care

Accepting the healthcare you need can sometimes seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’re someone who struggles asking for help. It may be you have lived alone for many years, and find having new people in your home, difficult to adjust to. However, welcoming care can be positively lifechanging. Care services, like those provided at Four Oaks Healthcare are there to make things easier for you within your day-to-day life. This could include tasks within your daily routine you now find difficult to complete. It also provides the opportunity to take some stress away from family members who may be struggling with balancing the amount of care they are having to provide alongside their own work commitments. Your welfare is at the forefront of our interest, and your continued independence is just as important to us.

Here at Four Oaks Healthcare, we take pride in encouraging you to maintain an active social life in a familiar and safe environment. Our care services are here to help you lead the easiest, safest and least stressful life as possible. We encourage and help support any problems that could be holding you back, whilst carefully and respectfully monitoring your progress and general wellbeing.

Services such as live-in care provide you with the structured assistance you may be requiring, while still allowing you to stay independent within your own home. Staying in an environment you love and feel comfortable in, and at the same time gaining friendly companionship with our exceptional carers. You have the ability to control everyday choices such as what you eat and when you eat it. As well as being able to continue to live the lifestyle you have chosen, remaining active within your own familiar community.

Ultimately, healthcare services our there to empower and support you through whatever struggle you may be experiencing. They are not a service which should be seen as intimidating or daunting. They are a service in who we count on to provide us with that extra bit of help to ensure the lives we lead are as unproblematic and fulfilled as they possibly can be.

Dealing with Brain Injury

After experiencing a brain injury, life can change completely. Adaptations are made in accordance to the type of injury, which can lead to a significant emotional strain felt not only by the individual, but their surrounding family and supporters too. It is therefore vital to ensure everyone is receiving the right support they need in order to best deal and cope with the new challenge they face. Nursing care or a live-in carer, which are services provided by Four Oaks Healthcare, can help with this enormously, easing those overwhelming feelings.

It is easy for someone with a brain injury, as well as their supporters to feel isolated at such a distressing time, and that’s why relaxed and professional carers can be fundamental in making the right difference. The Personal Assistants we offer here at Four Oaks Healthcare provide invaluable support for you, through live-in care, day nursing and helping with challenging behaviour.

Regardless of how severe a brain injury may be, anxiety and depression can hit hard when it comes to close family members. It is important to remember you are not alone and there is always help and support out there, whether that be a close friend or professional councillor. The longevity of its effects can add to the strain on coping, particularly in injury cases where emotional and behavioural issues have been difficult to deal with. It can be beneficial for us to remind ourselves of key patterns when we begin to feel agitated by a loved one with a brain injury:

– Although they may seem fine, concentration problems, fatigue, depression and anxiety are all invisible, and could very well be the cause of negative and unmotivated attitudes.
– One of the most common signs of a brain injury is irritability. Recognise this can be sporadic and definitely don’t blame yourself or take it personally.
– Memory problems are almost inevitable, and repeating yourself can become frustrating. Instead of having a negative outlook by pointing out the problem, think of a way in which it could be helped. A consistent daily routine can aid with this.
– Allow them to build their own confidence and self-esteem through having control of things. Their independence is likely to have become even more important to them, as some will have been lost due to the injury. Within reason, encourage them and instead of being frustrated, feel as though you are helping their brain to stay active and recover faster.

By reminding ourselves of these things in particular, can help us to process the behaviour they are displaying and re-evaluate our immediate feelings towards a situation.

The right education and support is vital in aiding families to adjust and rebuild their new lives. Again, this is where our wonderful PA’s come in. By offering guidance and being a source of reassurance, families are more likely to feel at ease. All of the PA’ s at Four Oaks Healthcare are continuously supervised by our qualified and high experienced clinical nurse specialists, providing even more reassurance and stability for everyone involved.

Why Live-In Care Can Be Better Than Residential Care

Live-in care can offer users so many advantages over residential or nursing care homes, from companionship to comfort and everything in between.

Remain in the comfort of your home.
Able to remain in your own home with familiar surroundings, care recipients are able to feel relaxed and comfortable while avoiding the emotional impact that can come with the stress of moving into a shared home. One of the most stressful parts of a move to a care home is not just the new living situation and shared communal spaces, but the trauma that can come from having to part with possessions they have held for so many years. By remaining at home, care recipients can continue to be surrounded by their treasured belongings.

Dedicated personal care
One of the most significant benefits of live-in care is that you receive care on you own terms. With a dedicated carer whose sole responsibility is to care for just you, you have the power to dictate when and with what you have assistance with, your daily routine and how you enjoy your free time.

Superior level of companionship
A major way in which live-in care differs from residential care is the unparalleled level of companionship that can develop. At Four Oaks Healthcare, we spend considerable time getting to know each client and each carer that registers with us, enabling us to carefully match carer with recipient based on personality, lifestyle and interests. This means that our carers are able to form excellent friendships with their care recipient while spending 24 hours a day together. This companionship, and sense of familiarity, is particularly important for those receiving Alzheimer’s care, Dementia care, brain injury or stroke care, where a continuously changing carer can be disorientating and stressful.

Choice of what and when you eat
In a residential care home, meals are often planned in a set menu for all residents for the week, with few alternatives and very little variety from week to week. This can be particularly difficult for those who struggle to eat certain foods or those that are fussy eaters. Receiving live in care means that your 24-hour home carer can plan and prepare meals at your request.

Pets can remain at home
Rules in residential homes regarding pets vary but, generally speaking, residents are forced to re-home their beloved dog, cat or other animal, which can be very distressing for someone living with Dementia. Remaining at home with the help of a 24-hour home carer means that care recipients can keep their beloved pets, which has been scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Significant cost save for couples
Although live-in care can sometimes be the costlier option for individual care, the flexibility that is provided by remaining in one’s own home means that couples or close friends are able to stay living together. Rather than having to pay for two beds or two bedrooms in a shared care home, individuals can split the cost of a single carer to remain with them in their home.

How To Communicate Effectively With A Person Living With Dementia

Learning how to communicate with someone living with Dementia can be so helpful when trying to provide Dementia care for a loved one. Being able to communicate effectively not only helps to improve your own relationship with the individual, but can also relieve a significant amount of stress for both parties, particularly for those receiving Dementia care from a 24-hour home carer.
At Four Oaks Healthcare, we are experts in providing Dementia care for your loved ones, friends and relatives. Our carers undertake continuous training and development courses to keep up with the latest progressions in care.

Ensure all interaction is undertaken positively
For Dementia sufferers, it is so important to remember that your body language, attitude and actions speak louder than words. Concentrate on warm and friendly facial expressions as you speak so as to put them at ease, with a positive tone of voice. If you can see they are feeling more relaxed, try adding light physical touch to show affection and comfort.

Structure your message clearly
Try to make sure you use a clear and simple sentence structure, speaking slowly and distinctly. If they do not initially understand, try rephrasing your sentence slightly, using more simple language. When speaking, ensure you use proper names of places and people rather than abbreviations. Also try to remember that those receiving Dementia care may have little memory of people or places that have been part of their life most recently.

Ask simple and easy to answer questions
When seeking an answer, ensure that the person you are addressing understands your question clearly by usual visual prompts to guide their answer. Try to avoid open-ended questions that provide too much scope for an answer.

Ensure you have their full attention while addressing them
Those living with Dementia can become easily distracted by persons or objects around them, or even their own memories. Try to limit distractions so that they can concentrate on only your question. This may be achieved by closing the door or turning off the TV/radio. Before beginning your sentence, address them clearly using their name and ensure you also identify yourself. To make them feel more comfortable, try sitting down so that you are at their level.

Have patience
Waiting for an answer from someone living with Dementia can be a little stressful and frustrating, but remember that showing your frustration with them will only amplify the situation and cause them distress. If you see they are struggling to find the words, calmly suggest some options – what do you think it is they are trying to say? Listen with your eyes as well as your ears to understand what they mean.

Break activities down into bite-size steps
People receiving Dementia care usually struggle to undertake day to day activities independently. Watch what your loved one is doing so that you are ready with visual prompts, clues and hints to remind them of what they should be doing next. Reminding them before any accidents happen, can save a situation from becoming stressful or upsetting for them.