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What is domiciliary care and how can it help a loved one?

Updated: 6 days ago

If you’re looking for support for a loved one, you may be considering the care options available to you. With many choices out there, it is worth learning more about each one and what support they can offer.

In this blog, we discuss what is domiciliary care, also commonly referred to as home care, who would benefit from it, and the support options available.

Domiciliary care: A definition

Home carer giving client a cup of tea

Domiciliary care refers to services provided in a client’s own home to help them with day-to-day activities.

These services are flexible and can be tailored to an individual’s needs, covering many different tasks. These range from help with washing and dressing to companionship and emotional support.

You may also be wondering what's the difference between domiciliary care and home care. Both domiciliary and home care refer to the same service — the provision of care inside a client’s home rather than in an external setting like a care home.

Who is domiciliary care for?

home carer sitting with elderly patient

Domiciliary care is a flexible service that is perfect for clients who require some additional support with everyday tasks such as personal care or household chores. However, they are capable of staying in their own home without the need for the round-the-clock care they would receive in a care home.

You may be considering this type of care if your relative is:

  • Elderly

  • Frail

  • Living with a health condition, including a mental health condition

  • Recovering from illness or surgery

  • Needs extra support around the home

We understand that it can be hard to recognise the right time to step in with domiciliary care. As a guide, below are some of the signs that your loved one might need extra support.

  • Reduced mobility

  • Memory loss

  • Changes in personality

  • Changes in appearance and personal hygiene

  • An uncared-for home

You can read more about these signs in our blog 5 Signs Your Relative Needs Help: Recognising the Need for Home Care.

If you have concerns about a loved one, you can also read What to do if you’re worried about someone on the Age UK website

What are the types of domiciliary care?

Home carer helping client climb stairs

Here is an overview of the types of domiciliary care available:

Personal care

Personal care covers support with a wide range of everyday tasks. These can include washing, dressing and eating, as well as light household duties and grocery shopping.

Companion care

Companion care suits older people who can carry out personal tasks but could benefit from some company and emotional support. It can involve enjoying the client’s hobbies together or going for a day out.

Respite care

Respite care gives a client’s usual carers a break. This means that carers carry out any tasks that a client’s family would normally do.

Live-in care

Live-in care is designed for clients with high needs, who require round-the-clock support. Carers live in their home so they can be on hand to help with any necessary tasks.

Dementia care

Dementia care is provided by carers with specialist training. This type of care is ideal for clients living with early-stage dementia who need support to stay in their own homes.

Mental health care

According to Mind, one in four people in England experiences a mental health condition every year. Mental health care supports clients with a range of these issues. It can include practical help, as well as emotional support and companionship.

You can find out more about these services in our blog Understanding the Types of Home Care Services Available and Which One Is the Right Fit

What does a domiciliary carer do?

duties of a home carer

A domiciliary carer covers a wide range of duties. Each of them is aimed at supporting clients to live in their own familiar surroundings of home.

Here is a summary of the tasks they can support with:

  • Personal care: This includes help with dressing, using the toilet, washing and any other aspects of personal hygiene.

  • Meal preparation: Domiciliary carers can help your loved one cook or take over all the duties around food preparation.

  • Help with housework: This includes light household tasks such as laundry, vacuuming and other cleaning duties.

  • Medication support: A domiciliary carer can help your loved one organise and take their medication.

  • Support and companionship: They can also provide emotional support and companionship. This could involve accompanying your loved one to a social event or playing card games together at home.

  • Respite care: Domiciliary carers can plug the gap when a family carer needs to take a break. They can take on any tasks that a client’s regular carer would do.

  • Help with appointments: Your loved one’s carer can help them with any kind of appointment, whether that’s going to the hairdresser or the hospital.

  • Morning and evening routines: Support also includes help with tasks around morning and evening routines.

  • Symptom progression: Domiciliary carers are flexible. This means they can address their clients’ changing needs if their symptoms progress.

  • Live-in care: Live-in care covers any tasks required to support a client over a 24/7 period.


The benefits of domiciliary care

home carer sitting with patient

Domiciliary or home care offers many benefits. The support your loved one receives in their own home means they can:

  • Stay independent

  • Continue to live at home

  • Receive the care they need

  • Enjoy the flexibility domiciliary care offers

  • Get emotional support

  • Receive help with appointments outside the home

  • Keep up with their hobbies and social life

  • Stay healthy, thanks to support with eating and taking medication

In fact, all the duties domiciliary carers carry out can benefit clients. The goal of domiciliary care is to ensure that your loved one lives as independently as possible in the comfort of their own home.

Domiciliary care vs care homes

Both domiciliary care and care homes provide a vital service to those in need.

However, domiciliary care is the best option if your loved one’s physical and emotional needs can be met at home and they:

  • Want to stay in familiar surroundings

  • Understand the flexibility that domiciliary care can provide

  • Want to remain in control of their daily routine

  • Like receiving unlimited visits from friends and family


If your loved one’s needs are more intensive, a care home might be the better option. In this case, you may wish to explore Bramble House, our dementia specialist care home in Gloucester.

Why Bramble Home Care?

bramble home care dementia carers

Bramble Home Care provides compassionate home care to clients throughout Gloucestershire. Alongside regular domiciliary care, we offer dementia and mental health home care as specialist services.

We have been established since 2010. From the outset, our mission has been to help people live the best lives they can in their own homes. Our team of home carers reflects this ethos, delivering personalised, quality care day in, and day out.

You can find out more about our range of services and packages here.

Reach out to know more about domiciliary care

If you’d like to discuss how our domiciliary care services could help your relative or you'd like to learn more about how to choose a Home Care provider, please contact our friendly team.

You can book a home care consultation to take place in your or your loved one’s home at a time that suits you.

Or choose another way to contact us:


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