Worried about arranging care for your parents? Why live-in homecare is a REAL alternative to residential care.
It’s an issue facing many of us. Once our parents begin to get older, we often begin to notice they need a bit of extra support. It might be just companionship, or someone to help with housework or pets. It could be they have serious health problems and need complex medical care. When it comes to care for an older parent, we want to ensure they’re happy, healthy, and able to enjoy later life as much as possible. It’s not easy to decide what will be the best option and it can be an emotional time, so it’s important to choose care that best suits your parent’s needs. That’s especially the case where families live far apart or those with very busy lives who can’t be there to oversee things.
Many people assume the only option is residential care; however live-in homecare is a long-established but little-known alternative to residential care that is growing in popularity. I’m a member of The Live-in Homecare Information Hub, which aims to raise awareness of live-in homecare and its benefits. There is overwhelming evidence that this kind of constant, considered, one-to-one care produces a far better experience for the vast majority of people.
With live-in homecare, carers live in a person’s home, 24 hours a day, allowing older people to stay in familiar surroundings, with pets and alongside friends and family. Everyone has different care requirements – from companionship, housekeeping, help with washing and dressing, preparing meals to help with medication. Many carers and nurses are also specially trained to cope with particular conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, MS or palliative care.
Unlike residential care, days are planned around the client and how they like to spend time, which gives them a sense of independence and dignity. The freedom of being able to have a favourite meal, see a football match, sit with a much-loved pet, or be taken to the seaside on a sunny day means quality of life is truly enhanced. Really getting to know an older person is one of the key advantages of live-in homecare. It is about caring for the whole person, not just the age or health issue.
Many of the families I speak to say live-in homecare brings huge peace of mind and makes a real difference. One commented that a live-in carer “has quite literally revolutionised Mum’s existence and for the first time in many years allowed me to have a home/work life balance.”
Although full-time care represents a significant financial outlay, live-in fees can compare very favourably with residential homes, especially where couples are looked after together, in which case it tends to be significantly less.
Debbie Cutts, Regional Director at Radis Community Care, one of the members of The Live-in Homecare Information Hub, a coalition of 14 leading live-in homecare providers. Its website, www.stayinmyhome.co.uk, is a valuable information resource containing further information on this real alternative to residential care.