What Are the Different Types of Elderly Care?
The four main types of elderly care are:
- Live-in care
- Sheltered accommodation
- Nursing homes
- Care homes
Where should I begin?
You should speak to your elderly relative as soon as you can, to discuss their preferences for a care plan and what sort of care they would be happiest to receive. Ask them whether they would prefer to move into a residential home or remain in their own home, what tasks they feel they can and cannot manage by themselves, and what sort of carers they would like to assist them.
You should also assess how well they are managing with any medication they may need to take. If you are concerned that they might be taking the incorrect dosage, forgetting to take medication or taking it more often than they should, then finding your loved one elder care becomes all the more urgent.
Similarly, if you no longer feel that they are able to shop and cook for themselves then it might be time to consider a care package. We can often lose interest in food as we age, and if cooking becomes too much of a chore then it is all too easy for an elderly relative to miss meals and to become malnourished.
They may also unknowingly pose a risk to themselves when cooking. If, for example, your loved one is suffering from memory problems, they may become distracted whilst cooking and leave ovens or hob rings on, or fail to realise that a dish or surface is hot. Accidents or falls in the home can also be a major concern for relatives, particularly if they are not able to visit on a regular basis.
What are the different types available?
When it comes to elderly care, there are lots of options available to you and your loved one. In some cases, sheltered accommodation may be an appropriate choice, particularly if your loved one is still able to manage the majority of day-to-day tasks for themselves.
With sheltered accommodation, there is a warden close by to assist and check on them if and when they need it, but your loved one is still able to maintain a relatively independent and active lifestyle.
If your loved one needs assistance with daily living but does not have complex medical needs, they may feel that a care home is the best option. Moving into a care home means that there is someone close by at all times of the day and night. The staff there can assist with personal tasks such as bathing and getting to the toilet, and the home provides all the nutritious meals your relative needs.
Loved ones can also enjoy the companionship of fellow residents and staff, staving off the feelings of loneliness and isolation which can often afflict those in old age who live alone in their own homes.
If your elderly relative has more complex medical needs which they need help treating or managing, then a nursing home could be the most appropriate choice. If your loved one requires dementia care or is suffering from diabetes, Parkinson’s disease or any other health issues, then a nursing home may be an appropriate option.
In a nursing home, there are fully qualified nurses on hand round-the-clock to assist with administering medication by injection, dressing wounds and other medical tasks and monitoring, both simple and more complex. This is the main distinction between a care home and a nursing home. In a care home, residents must be attended by a district nurse, with visits often being sporadic and unpredictable.
Dulcie’s care story
Dulcie is one of our longest serving customers. In this video, she and her family talk through their decision to arrange care in the home rather than the care home.
Your loved one might prefer to remain in their own home and receive elderly care through a live-in care package. This is an increasingly popular option and allows your elderly relative to maintain an active and independent lifestyle at the same time as receiving the round-the-clock, one-to-one care they deserve.
A live-in carer will be matched with your loved one according to shared hobbies and interests or similarities in personality, and they then move in to provide companion care.
Many elderly people prefer to remain in familiar surroundings and maintain a sense of independent living for as long as possible, making this an ideal choice for those who do not want the disruption and heartache of leaving a home they may have lived in and loved for many years.
What should I do next?
Once you and your loved one have assessed their options and decided on the best course of action, you need to research care providers. Start by searching online or asking for word of mouth recommendations, then draw up a list of care homes, nursing homes or care at home providers.
You should try and visit as many residential homes as you can, and try to involve your loved one by taking them along with you. If you are interested in live-in care, then approach the provider and discuss what sort of tasks their caregivers will undertake and work out a care plan to suit your elderly relative.
Care at home will usually work out as the most cost-effective option, often cheaper than a place in a care or nursing home. Reputable home care providers such as Elder will work closely with you and your loved one to develop a tailor-made care package which caters for all their physical and emotional needs, enabling them to continue living an active and independent life in their own home for as long as possible.
Home Help: What's the Cost?
There are various cost options to consider and some help towards fees may be available from your loved one’s local authority or through NHS continuing healthcare funding, depending on the individual circumstances
How Can I Pay for Home Help?
You should contact your local authority before hiring home help, who will carry out an assessment to establish if you’re entitled to any grants.
How Do I Choose the Right Home Help?
If you have an ageing parent or relative who is no longer as able they once were, it’s important to understand the different types of help available before deciding on the type that they need.
How Do I Find the Right Home Help Provider?
If your elderly loved one is in need of care, you should make sure that the person you employ to care for them is honest and trustworthy and has the necessary skills to perform their required tasks appropriately and professionally.
When Does Your Loved One Need 24-hour Live-in Care?
If your loved one is struggling to perform household tasks such as cleaning, shopping and cooking, or having difficulty with bathing, dressing or toileting, he or she will certainly benefit from help in the home via 24/7 live-in care.