When considering which type of care is right for yourself or your loved one, there are a number of options. Here we look at the two key options: home care (visiting or live-in) and residential care.
According to statistics from our Better At Home report, 97% of people would prefer not to move into a care home if they become ill or incapable of caring for themselves yet many people feel this is inevitable if they can longer look after themselves. Fortunately, there are other options, which many people don’t know about. Care at home (where a professionally trained carer comes to your home during the day) or lives with you could be a far better alternative to a care home for many people if only they were aware of this option. So how do you decide which type of senior care and support is best for you or your elderly relative? A care facility may be the typical choice but it also makes sense to consider home care.
There are, obviously, some advantages to both which you should consider first and certainly before making a decision in a crisis:
Residential Care Home
- Care homes enable a person to receive help and support 24/7 if they need access to it
- Care homes have access to nursing assistance
- Care homes might provide a good social environment for an elderly person
- The person’s house doesn’t need to be kept and maintained
- You know they will always be safe
Home Care Services
- Home care enables a person to receive help and support when they need it, one-to-one dedicated personal care
- A home carer can arrange access to nursing assistance and in many cases can undertake care interventions supported by local district nursing teams
- The person can keep their pets and stay connected to their neighbours and community
- The person remains in familiar surroundings, which is particularly important for those individuals diagnosed with dementia
- The person will feel more in control of their care and their life, there is no set routine, only the one the person wants to have
|Medication||Ensuring medication is always taken when necessary|
|Domestic Support||Chores, shopping|
Preparing and cooking food
|Physical Support||Visits to the hospital|
Visits to Doctor/Dentist
Helping attend social events
Flexible help to match your needs
|Emotional Support||Companionship: sharing meals, playing games, watching TV|
Social interaction – simply chatting
The security of knowing someone is always there
|Providing Choice||Staying in your own home environment|
Deciding how you live your life in your later years
Activities, hobbies and interests you enjoy
Family and friends are free to visit when they want
Cost are a major consideration when it comes to both care homes and home care. There are three major factors when it comes to working out the costs of care.
- The facilities required each week – if you need regular nursing or dementia care then it will cost more than if you need basic personal care
- Where the home care service or residential facility is based
- If you are entitled to get financial support with all or part of the cost
Our research shows that most people prefer to have care at home and it wouldn’t surprise most people to know that. Think about it yourself, wouldn’t you rather stay in a place you feel comfortable and have known for many years, where your pets are, where your neighbours are and where your community is? Care homes are mostly professional, friendly places to live but nothing compares to your own home and the care quality you can receive there.
So it makes sense that most people want to stay at home as long as they can when they get older, taking advantage of home care services when they just need a little bit of help – the perfect type of social care for seniors. Then later on, maybe, having a carer based permanently in their home, if necessary.
Clearly every circumstance is different, but it is important to consider each and every option in detail because an informed decision is a well-made decision and everyone should be aware that there is a life-enhancing alternative to a care home – even for dementia care and palliative care.
Remember that your care, or your elderly relative’s care, is only specific to your life or their life, it is a very personal decision. Get all the information, facts, advice and support you need and make this very personal decision together as a family. Only you know what is right for yourself or your elderly relative.