Caring for the elderly not only means ensuring their needs and requirements are met, but that they are allowed to live the life they want.
From daily home visits to 24/7 live-in home care, elderly home care is becoming an increasingly popular option because it fulfils these criteria and is easier to arrange than you might think.
Five benefits of home care
What could be nicer for anyone than to be able to stay in their own home?
To be surrounded by everything that is familiar, and to be as independent as you can be, has immense appeal for many reasons.
Care at home isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It is more flexible, and tailored to individual, needs. A carer can be there to help with those things you can’t do yourself, so may not need to be there all the time. They can provide personal care, companionship, and perform household tasks. However, it is possible as well to offer more specialist nursing, including dementia care.
Because carers are only there to help with specific needs, you can retain much more of your independence. Even if you are the one deciding when to have your lunch, or what you want to watch on TV, these are things that still matter however old you are.
- No commitment
You can get different levels of care without long-term commitment.
- You can obtain access to a whole range of services
There are lots of home care services on offer depending on individual needs. Your local authority will decide if you’re eligible for these services, or for home carers or a personal assistant. The kinds of services available to help you in your own home include:
- Getting in and out of bed
- Bathing and washing
- Preparing meals
- Fitting equipment and adaptations to your home, such as stair lifts and bath seats
- Visiting a day centre
- Cost effective
Compared to other kinds of care and depending upon your needs, domiciliary care can be affordable.
The kinds of home care that may be given in the home include:
Where those who are finding some tasks difficult because of their age can receive help.
- Live-in care
This is where the home carer is on hand around the clock.
Specialist care given by someone who has experience and understanding of this condition.
This is another specialist category of care and is given to those who need rehabilitation following a stroke.
How to arrange home care for the elderly
This ideally starts with obtaining a care needs assessment by the local council.
The cost for that is nothing because you are entitled to one whether you have savings or not.
Following the care assessment, the local council will provide a written care plan if you are eligible for support, or will give you advice and information on your other options if you do not meet the criteria for help.
Choosing a paid in-home carer
There are two ways to do this.
- Use a home care agency
- Employ a carer independently
Home care agencies
A homecare agency such as Abafields Home Care Services have trained carers who will visit regularly according to your individual needs. A good agency will find a carer that you will get along, with although it may not always be possible to have the same carer visiting all the time.
How much do home care services cost?
It costs around £20 an hour for a carer to come to your home, but this will vary depending on where you live.
Four ways to find a local care agency
- Visit the NHS website for local home care services and agencies and a list of national home care organisations and make your choice from these.
- Contact the local council for information about home care agencies in your local area.
- All home care agencies have to register with the Care Quality Commission and they can supply details of providers.
- You can also ask the United Kingdom Homecare Association for a list of approved home care agencies in you local area
10 things to expect from your home care agency
- Feeling safe and protected by staff but also being encouraged to do all the things you want to do regardless of disability or other needs.
- Staff who are chosen because they have the specific skills and qualifications to help you live your best life.
- You receive dignity and respect in every aspect of your care.
- Being able to be involved in the day-to-day decisions that make up your care package and being allowed as much choice and control as possible.
- A care agency that allows enough time for each visit so that all your needs are attended to thoroughly.
- That the correct procedures are observed. For example, if carers give you medicine they know to store it correctly and administer it safely.
- You trust the people who are caring for you. For example, your belongings are safe and secure.
- Caregivers have your health and wellbeing as a priority.
- Your carer will make sure you have the food you like and that you’re not going hungry.
- You have a trusting relationship with the person caring for you and they treat you with dignity and respect.
Employing your own carer
Instead of using an agency, you can hire your own carer, sometimes called a private home carer or personal assistant.
If you employ a carer, you have the legal responsibility of an employer.
This includes arranging cover for their illness and holidays.
Which? Later Life Care has some advice on employing a carer yourself.
If you are looking for bespoke, personal, dignified care in your own home – either for yourself or a loved one – that is delivered by a home care provider registered with the Care Quality Commission, please do not hesitate to contact us.