When considering which type of elderly 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 is where a professionally trained carer comes to your home during the day or lives with you. This could be a far better alternative to a residential setting for many people if only they were aware of this option. So how do you decide which type of senior help and support is best for you or your elderly relative? A residential facility may be the typical choice but it also makes sense to consider in-home care or 24/7 live-in care.
There are, obviously, some advantages to both which you should consider first and certainly before making any decision in a crisis:
Residential Care Home
- Enables a person to receive help and support 24/7 if they need access to it
- Access to nursing assistance
- 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
- Enables a person to receive help and support when they need it, one-to-one dedicated personal support
- A professional in-home carer can arrange access to nursing assistance and in many cases can undertake interventions supported by local district nursing teams
- The person can keep their pets and stay connected to their neighbours and community
- Remain in familiar surroundings, which is particularly important for those people diagnosed with dementia
- The person will feel more in control of 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 options. There are three major factors when it comes to working out the costs.
- The facilities required each week – if you need regular nursing or dementia assistance then it will cost more than if you need basic personal support
- 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 be looked after 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? Residential homes are mostly professional, friendly places to live but their social care resources are stretched and nothing compares to your own space.
Find out more in our article “What Is Live-in Care?“
So it makes sense that most people want to stay in their own house as long as they can when they get older. And taking advantage of home care services when they just need a little bit of help – the perfect type of social assistance 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. An informed decision is a well-made decision. Everyone should be aware that there is a life-enhancing alternative to a residential home – even for those with dementia or requiring palliative assistance.
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.