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nursing homes, care homes, residential homes & care at home - The Care Directory - contains a wealth of material relating to care and care provision in older age, intended to help people be fully informed about all aspects of care and also contains a nationwide listing of nursing homes, care homes, residential care homes, nursing care & care providers
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care at home, home care, home health care, home personal care, assisted living, washing and dressing, toileting, feeding, meal preparation, assistance with mobility, cleaning, shopping, bedmaking, laundry, changing dressings, administering medication uk

 

Care at Home

home / choosing a care home / care at home
 
See Also: Care Options / Care at Home / Role of the Independent Care Adviser / Assistive Devices / Convalescence, Rehabilitation and Respite Care

When an older person starts to struggle with the tasks of daily living, the preferred option is usually to arrange suitable care at home. This will enable the individual to live in his or her own home for as long as possible.

At present in the UK four out of every five older people needing care arrange to receive assistance in their own home. This currently equates to some two million people receiving care at home.

Type of Care at Home

Care provided at home can be medical and/or help with the everyday tasks of living. There are three types of care at home.

1. Personal care for the older person, examples of which are:

  • Washing and dressing
  • Toileting
  • Feeding
  • Meal preparation
  • Assistance with mobility

2. Domestic help in the home, examples of which are:

  • Cleaning
  • Shopping
  • Bedmaking
  • Laundry

3. Medical help in the home, examples of which are:

  • Changing dressings
  • Administering medication

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Levels of Care at Home

These types of care can be delivered at a number of different levels, for example:

  • Hourly visits (very rare)
  • Visits two or three times daily (more common)
  • 24 hour care by rota, with separate day and night shifts
  • Night sitting
  • Live-in care (one carer resident for a pre-determined period of time)
  • Occasional escort duties

Assessment of needs

When deciding on what type and level of care at home is desired, there are a number of issues that will need consideration. These may include the following:

  • The precise care or assistance required
  • Any personal or social needs not covered by medical assessments
  • Where to find the right assistance
  • Evaluating the respective benefits of different types of care
  • Ensuring the older person is comfortable with the care provider
  • What a fair price is for the service being provided
  • How to fund the cost of care
  • The State Benefits an individual is entitled to
  • The availability and suitability of any assistive devices required
  • Whether care at home is indeed the best option or whether residential care might be more suitable

There are a number of agencies that can help with the process of selecting the right type and level of care at home. If the older person is a patient in hospital, the multi-disciplinary hospital team will carry out an assessment. If the older person is not a patient, the local Social Services department or members of the local Primary Care Team can carry out an assessment of an older person and make recommendations. Social Services will also advise on any State funding entitlements. Private occupational therapists can also carry out assessments and give advice on what an older person will need to be able to live at home.

Many older people will use an Independent Care Adviser to help them through the process.


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Care in your own Home

The older person may find himself weighing up the benefits of receiving care at home as opposed to moving into a care home. Each situation is unique and there can be no general answer. However, the following can act as a general guide to the advantages and disadvantages of care at home:

Advantages

  • The older person can remain independent in his or her own home
  • The older person can choose how much help is provided (within financial restraints)
  • Domestic assistance and/or help with personal care
  • If and when needs increase, so can the level of care

Disadvantages

  • The older person may not have one regular carer
  • Long-term expense
  • Being at home can sometimes be lonely
  • The house must be maintained and bills must be paid in addition to care costs

The amount of care delivered under Social Services funding will be determined by the Social Services assessment and it may be as little as 30 minutes twice per day. The type of care delivered by Social Services will also vary by area – for example, Social Services do not arrange domestic help nationwide.

Decisions regarding the type, level and funding of care at home are clearly not to be taken lightly and expert advice should be sought at all stages of the process.

 
If you require further assistance or would like to speak to the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call 0800 137 669 or complete the e-mail enquiry form.


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