24-hour and Live-in Care

Many people searching for care for themselves or their loved ones often run into a common question: What’s the difference between live-in and 24-hour care? In this post, we’ll explore the difference between these two types of in-home care and offer guidance for determining which one is right for you. While there are benefits and drawbacks to both, they apply to different situations. In a nutshell, live-in care allows for a caregiver to temporarily reside within the home24-hour care is more suited to those who require wakeful care 24 hours a day.

The cost of live-in care and 24-hour home care differ slightly by location. More urban areas tend to be more expensive. For example, in-home care averages about $20 per hour in Tampa, Florida. Below is a side-by-side comparison of live-in and 24-hour care:

Live-In Care 24-hour Care
# of Caregivers 1-2 Minimum of 4
Shifts 24 hours 8-12 hours
Breaks 8-hour sleeping

4-hour daytime

30 minutes
Cost $160-250 per day $10-25 per hour

Pros and Cons of Live-in Care

Seniors who need someone to be with them around-the-clock and are able to provide sleeping accommodations benefit from live-in care. (The caregiver does not actually “live” with their client and returns to their own home between shifts.) With live-in care, one caregiver is scheduled for a consecutive 24-hour period. A single caregiver can be booked for a maximum of four to five days per week. For the other days, a different caregiver must be hired. Typically two caregivers alternate days. In the 24-hour period, a four hour break is permitted, but additional coverage for this time is optional. Additionally, for a live-in shift, the caregiver is allowed an eight hour sleeping break. People who are comfortable having a caregiver share their home, find great value in the comfort and consistency of live-in care.


+ Reduced number of caregivers
+ Consistency
+ Comfort
+ Established rapport
+ Reduced cost


+ Daily 4-hour break with optional coverage
+ No awake, overnight supervision

Pros and Cons of 24-Hour Home Care

If the patient’s medical needs change and they require their caregiver to be awake and alert at night, then it may be necessary to switch to 24-hour care. Live-in caregivers are entitled to 8 hours of sleep, so you might choose 24-hour care if you need a caregiver to be awake at all times. With 24-hour care, several caregivers rotate shifts so that someone is always awake at all times to help your loved one. Caregiver shifts are typically 8 or 12 hours at a time. (Caregivers usually prefer a minimum amount of hours per shift of 3 to 4 hours.) One caregiver may work a maximum of four 12-hour shifts per week. Additional caregivers are hired to fill in the gaps. An entire week of coverage requires at least four caregivers.


+ Constant care
+ Nighttime wakeful care
+ More refreshed/alert caregivers


+ Higher cost
+ Less consistency
+ Less familiarity

Home Care Assist — A Great Resource for both Live-in and 24-Hour In-Home Care

Whether you’re looking for 24-hour care or live-in care, Home Care Assist is changing the way you find it. We’ve removed the middleman which means more cost savings for you, plus increased wages for the caregiver. We use the same vetting processes as an agency, but you remain in control of your care. Caregivers list their desired rate, allowing you to see (and negotiate) their live-in and 24-hour cost up front.

Navigating the process of finding live-in and 24-hour care for your loved one can be challenging. Especially from afar. Home Care Assist is ready to help you explore your options today. Get started today with our introductory FREE 7-day pass.