Many older people are fearful at the prospect of entering institutional care homes, yet most families still believe that the only alternative is to take the elderly relative into their own homes. While this is an excellent choice for some families, there are many for whom this is simply not practical.
Even where personal or practical circumstances allow, there are still times when the arrangement can break down - when you and your family go on a holiday that is not suitable for your elderly relative, for example, or if you require medical attention yourself and are unable to perform your usual caring duties. Worrying who will care for your loved one during the times when you are unable to can be stressful for everyone concerned.
Most older people would prefer to remain in their own homes and in a familiar environment. Thanks to a rise in home care options this is now becoming an increasingly attractive option for many families. Care at home solutions range from a little light help with shopping, cooking and gardening through to 24/7 care from a dedicated live-in carer.
Even if your loved one moves into your home, you can still arrange for a live-in carer to provide assistance for a short time to give you a break. Caring for an elderly loved one can be demanding, and arranging live-in care gives you the chance to meet your own needs as well as those of your loved one.
Personalised care is something that is not always possible in a care home; even with dedicated staff. Nothing beats one-to-one assistance from an experienced caregiver, who can spend time getting to know your loved one as an individual. With in-home care, they can maintain a good quality of life, and enjoy the company of a friendly person always on hand for conversation and help with social events.
Local authorities can direct you to your social services department which will arrange for a free home assessment for your elderly relative. This assessment will determine the level of assistance that the department deems relevant. Financial support is available in some cases, which can be used on local authority or private services, depending on what you choose. However, most local authorities are only able to supply a very limited form of support which tends to focus on the basics of personal care, such as help with dressing, bathing and toileting. Some authorities now offer a Personal Budget, so contact your local department to find out what assistance is available to your relative.
If you choose private elderly care then take the time to assess several different care providers to see what level of support they provide. Websites such as goodcareguide.co.uk are a good starting point, so make a list of suitable agencies and approach them with a list of questions. You will need to know about staff training, and whether they check references thoroughly. Ask to see testimonials from other families, and follow them up if possible. Find out whether there is an out-of-hours number in case of problems, and establish the procedure in the event of an emergency involving your relative. You will need to understand the company’s pricing policy and what is included, along with how often to make payment.
Depending on the health of your loved one you may require an experienced live-in dementia carer. Ask about the agency’s training policy for these conditions, as sufferers can sometimes show challenging behaviour and even become aggressive and it is crucial that a carer can deal with this.
Ask what happens if the caregiver and your loved one don’t hit it off. Will the agency offer an alternative? Some offer a trial period so that you and your loved one can assess whether private live-in care is an appropriate option for your circumstances. Having someone else living in your home or your relative’s home requires adjustments, and it’s important that everyone is happy with the arrangement.
“The security and patience of live-in care has meant my mother has relaxed and her general disposition has improved to no end.”
Choosing which company to employ to provide care for yourself or a loved one is an important decision and you need to carry out some research beforehand.
With as many as one-in-three care homes deemed inadequate or requiring improvement, it’s no wonder that many elderly people are reluctant to see them as a viable alternative to remaining in their own homes. Local authorities are overstretched, and the elderly care sector is suffering as a result. A rapidly growing elderly population means that the issue is something we urgently need to address.
People usually want to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as they can, but as they grow older there is often a need for some support with this.
Arranging live-in care for your loved one will enable them to continue living independently in their own home where they feel safe and comfortable, but with the added security of all the help and companionship they need twenty-four hours a day.
If you have decided to employ a live-in carer to provide care and support for your loved one, there are various ways you can go about finding a suitable person. This form of elderly care offers the best way of helping an older person to remain safe and independent in their own home when their care needs increase.
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