The first thing most people assume about caring for the elderly when they can no longer manage on their own is that the main option is a residential care home r nursing home. Elderly people often feel they will be “shipped off” to a communal home and have to leave all their valued possessions behind and live their final days in just a single room, with all other areas shared with other older people.
Of course, residential care homes can be very nice with lovely communal areas and gardens and always other people around, but nevertheless they are still not the same as the privacy of your own home with friends and neighbours nearby that you have known for years.
The assumption that surrounding yourself with similarly aged people in similar physical condition is the route to a happy later life is not necessarily true for some people. Many older people like the company of younger people. You only have to look at the success of the collaborations between nursery schools and old people’s homes to see the benefits of inter-generational contact. Why then are residential homes viewed as the norm?
And if you have a pet you almost certainly won’t be able to take a pet to a care home. Fortunately, there is another, increasingly popular option, and that is live-in care of home care as it is sometimes known.
Live-in care or homecare is just one of a range of care services available in the UK for old people so it is good to be aware of what all the care options are so when the time comes and you or your elderly relative requires help then the right choice can be made.
Residential care homes
Care homes are most well-known type of care available in the UK for senior people who need help with the everyday tasks of life. There is a wide range of care homes across the UK varying in size, type and cost so there is something to suit all budgets. Care homes can be a good choice for many people as it provides a type of community with shared activities and being able to eat in communal dining rooms.
They may also be the best option for people who need high levels of care, especially when nursing care is required or when there are particular needs such as for dementia sufferers.
Live-in care or homecare, as it is also known, is a care option that is only just starting to become more widely known although it has been around for many years. One of the main advantages of live-in care is that the person being cared for remains in their family home, which is often a place they have lived for many, many years with all its valued possessions and treasured memories. Live-in care is a suitable option even when someone requires specialist nursing care as the live-in carer can organise other help to come to the house as required. A live-in carer moves into the family home and caters for all care needs but also provides companionship and a sense of security for the elderly person. Those who are becoming a carer as their career are well-trained to offer stability and consistency that can quite simply mean the elderly person is happier and more relaxed and many a firm friendship has been forged with a carer. It is much easier for a live-in carer to know the likes and dislikes of the elderly person as they can focus all their attention on caring for that one person, which is very unlike what happens in care homes.