Homecare for the elderly or live-in care, as it is also known, is where a qualified carer comes to live in a person’s home so that they can provide help and care whenever it is needed around the clock. The type of care provided will depend on the individual person’s needs but live-in carers are trained to help in all sorts of ways. They can help a person with basic requirements such as taking their medication at the right time, they will cook healthy meals and help with eating food – ensuring the person is adequately fed and does not become dehydrated or malnourished. They also help with dressing and bathing and can take the elderly person out for trips if this is appropriate. They can also do shopping and household chores.
Aside from these basic tasks many live-in carers are trained to help people with more complex needs such as recovering from a stroke, overseeing and encouraging their client to do their physiotherapy exercises during periods of convalescence. Many are also experienced in helping those living with dementia where care in their own home avoids the disruption of a move into a care home, which can be upsetting for any old person but especially so for someone with dementia.
Home care services are becoming an increasingly popular option as more people become aware of it and realise it is comparable in cost to a residential care home, and in many cases significantly cheaper, depending on the area you live in and the availability of care home places and equally the availability of qualified carers.
Often people will move their elderly parent in with them but this isn’t always the best choice for everyone – it may mean the elderly parent moving away from an area with which they are familiar and have friends and a well-loved community around them. Equally it could mean the adult children have to compromise their lives – maybe giving up a career or having less time to devote to their own children. There are all sorts of reasons why homecare is a good option for all concerned.
The Advantages of Homecare
- A qualified carer who is dedicated to homecare for your elderly parent or other relative.
- Care available whenever it is needed
- The elderly person can stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home with all their own treasured possessions.
- Confidence that there is a professional, qualified carer who is trained to care for the elderly, especially when illnesses such as dementia are concerned.
- Somebody is always around to provide company and conversation
- The relationship between parent and adult child is not strained by the pressures of caring
The Disadvantages of Homecare
- Finding the right carer for an individual who will find caring for your relative rewarding and whom your relative will get on well with.
- Although homecare jobs are very rewarding the position can adversely affect the social life of the carer and they may have less time with people their own age.
- Financially, it is a significant cost, even though it might be less expensive than a residential care home.
- Two people living in the same house can result in tensions arising if clear round rules are not established at the outset.
- Care workers need time off work so there will always be times when another carer has to step in.
These are just some of the most obvious advantages and disadvantages of homecare or live-in care, but it is important to be fully informed before making any decision as important as who will care for an elderly relative.