Where do you turn when you need information around HOME CARE?

Home care is something you do not really think about until you find yourself in the sudden position of needing to know about it!

Suddenly your life changes as you, or perhaps a parent or loved one simply can’t manage at home and the worry and stress starts to affect your work and home life.

I speak to many people every week who are pulling their hair out trying to manage everything and on top of that they are worried sick that something quite serious may happen amongst the confusion of it all.

The problem is there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to turn for transparent advice and to find out what your options really are.

The first thing to do in this situation is to ensure the person needing care is safe and has support. Care agencies will often be able to provide short- term respite care and can generally set things up quite quickly. Although many agencies have waiting lists so beat this in mind. Even if the person needing care is against this initially which is often the case you must ensure they are aware of the dangers and risk factors of being left alone. A simple slip or fall can lead to life changing injuries and months in hospital. This does happen, and it happens every day! Once you have help in place then it is time to really look at your options and make a forward moving plan.

First you will want to research to see if you qualify for any type of funding. Anyone can apply for the attendance allowance as this is non- means tested. As a rule of thumb if you have more than £23,000 at bank or in assets you will be responsible for paying for your own care. Many people are not aware that any person receiving funding for care are entitled to direct payments, meaning funds are paid to them directly, this allows them to choose their care provider.

Then you have to decide between a care or nursing home or home care. Research shows that 97% of people would prefer to stay in the familiar comfort of their own home with their own belongings and fond memories. This is especially important for peace of mind and a sense of wellbeing especially if the person is living with Dementia or Alzheimer’s as change can be extremely upsetting and unsettling. Its often believed that people living with dementias are unable to stay at home and be cared for, this is certainly not the case and so long as all the factors are taken into account with client safety being paramount staying at home is the best place for someone living with dementia.

Hourly Care or Live-in Care?

We all know what hourly care is, this is when a carer or carers come into visit a client at home for an hour or a couple of hours each day and help with tasks such as washing, dressing making meals and administration medication etc. Where the client’s needs are low is this is a great service.

However Live-in Home Care is a little less unknow as it’s a relatively new but rapidly growing service. Live-in care offers a great package of care and support as the live -in carer is there around the clock to support the client, companionship is always offered throughout the day and as you do not have different carers coming in and out throughout the day clients really benefit from continuity of carer and building a relationship based on confidence and trust. Live-in care is also very cost effective for two reasons, if a client lives with their spouse you pay a small additional amount for the second client’s care where as in a care home you are often required to pay double for two clients not one. Also, the live-in carers are generally responsible for all the house work, cleaning, laundry and preparing all the clients meals and snacks and refreshments throughout the day. The client/s also receive one to one care and support which again cannot be offered in a care home. It’s also very important that you engage with agencies that ensure all their carers are fully vetted, police checked and trained as many modern-day “care platforms” claim to offer industry leading technology but fail to actually vet or meet the carers in person. Technology is great, but we believe the care industry must retain and promote real relationships with people these relationships should be at the core of the service and this cannot be replaced by bots!