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Is There An Alternative To A Care Home For Elderly People?

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Find out about a life-enhancing alternative to a care home for elderly people, with useful links, resources and information.

Statistics tell us that by 2039 there will be over 74 million people in the UK and over 18% of those people will be over 65. That is an increasing amount of people who will require care as they age.

Residential care is often the first thing that you might think of when you think about later life care. However, it is not the preferred option for many people. Firstly, it simply might not be available to some in their local area, as residential care home places become less readily available because of the rise in the elderly population numbers.

Also, most people want to stay in their homes, with their pets and partner and everything that is familiar to them so, naturally, would like a better alternative to residential care. Luckily, there is a life-enhancing alternative to care homes that is available to many people and that is ‘live in care’.

Care At Home

Receiving care at home is becoming an increasingly popular option compared to a residential care home, and one that is a common option in many European countries.

Knowing that you require care or your loved one requires care can be very difficult, but knowing there is an option for care that doesn’t involve the upheaval and distress associated moving to a care home is a blessing for many families. Live-in care can be a fantastic option for later life care and it is important to know that it is a viable and affordable option for many.

Of course, both options have their advantages and disadvantages and both require a different financial approach. It can be difficult to know which is the right option for you both now, and into the future.

One of the best ways to come to a decision about which later life care option is right for you is to learn about both residential care and live-in care, so you can make an informed decision.

Here is an overview of both types of care to help you gain an initial understanding about these options.

Residential Care

Residential care is where a residential home for the elderly provides private rooms for clients to sleep in and spend time in as well as communal areas for everybody at the residence.

Residents have to keep to the schedule of the care home, getting up and going to bed when carers are there to help them, and eating and drinking based on a schedule. Residential care may be specialist or it may be standard and less ‘involved’ when it comes to the care provided.

Nursing home care is also available but involves 24/7 care from qualified nurses. In all cases, different homes have different standards and rules, and so a residential home should always be visited to determine its suitability.

Live-in Care

Live-in care is where a person lives in their own home and receives care from a trained carer who lives in their property with them. Often there are two or more carers who will switch places perhaps every fortnight, or possibly on a more regular basis. Live-in care comes in many forms and is always tailored to the needs of the person receiving care.

The carer will help with personal tasks such as getting washed and dressed, preparing meals, light cleaning and administering medication. They can also help with gardening, pet care and other tasks such as attending appointments with their client depending on individual needs, funding and circumstances.

Respite Care & Sheltered Accommodation

It is also important to mention that there are further types of care available as well as residential care and live-in care. Respite care is a type of care that is provided usually just occasionally such as one afternoon a week, for a day every couple of weeks or perhaps for a week as a one-off. It is provided to give family caregivers some rest from providing care.

Sheltered accommodation is where a person maintains their independence living in a flat or bungalow that is within a protected space. There will usually be a warden coming to check in or help them, and there is likely to be a buzzer or keypad they can use to let somebody know if they need help.

Which Option Is Right For Me?

There are so many considerations when it comes to deciding on the best type of care for your needs. You need to consider things such as:

  • How much care is needed
  • What are your personal preferences
  • Finances
  • The thoughts of family members
  • What is available locally

The best thing to do is research, research some more and then some again. The more you know, the more informed your decision will be. The following resources will help you get started as you learn about the different types of care on offer, so hopefully you can make the best possible choice to give you the kind of later life you deserve.

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