Understandably, the topic of care is not always easy to discuss; however, it is widely known that sometimes the most important conversations are those most difficult to engage in. Before discussing when the right time may be to source care for yourself or a loved one, you should first read on to better understand the main facets of home care.
Home Care (Domiciliary Care)
In 2021 data showed that just under a million people in the UK received domiciliary care, with 800,000 or more living in England. Hourly care services allow you to get the help and support needed to maintain independence and ensure peace of mind, prolonging living at home instead of opting for residential care. The severity of care required is dependent on the client’s desires and the assessment made by a Care Expert. Sometimes people just need a helping hand; depending on which provider you choose, bespoke packages can be tailored to fit individual needs.
Home care is a broad term covering various elements, ranging from simplistic help at home and companionship to personal care and medication. The title “home care” may lead some to think that care is only applicable to a home setting, but that isn’t the case. The main objective of home care is to ensure independence; this will include Carers assisting in getting clients to appointments, helping with shopping, supporting at special family events and even taking the beloved household dog for a walk!
It wouldn’t be right to discuss home care without mentioning the innovative technology providing a lifted care experience. Caring technology varies from simple things such as super user-friendly websites and apps that allow you to take control of your care journey. Also, it enables both the Carer and clients’ families to monitor behaviours and day to day living. Monitoring is essential for those with progressive conditions such as dementia, as changes in behaviour will be vital to reducing dangers and spotting changes in capacity.
Similarily to home care, one of the primary purposes of live-in care is to ensure that you remain in your own home where you feel most comfortable. However, there is a key difference; live-in care is tailored to those who require full-time care. In some cases, this is the next step once hourly visits throughout the day have become insufficient. Enabling you to stay at home where you feel most comfortable is highly beneficial as a change of surroundings could cause confusion and distress; this is why many opt for live-in over residential care.
A consultation and care assessment would have to be taken before making care arrangements. To qualify for live-in care, a bedroom would have to be made available for a carer; they need to have a safe and comfortable space to live in to provide high-standard care. Providing the Professional Carer has been deemed an appropriate fit, they will then be able to offer a helping hand for however long is deemed necessary. This care type provides continuity of Carer, allowing them to bond and build a rapport that will smooth the transition.
Routine is essential to many elderly and vulnerable people; Fortunately, around-the-clock care allows Carers to provide support in comfortable surroundings. Caregivers will support with things such as; household cleaning, help getting dressed, personal hygiene, nutrition and meal preparation, medical prompting, personal care, mobility assistance, companionship and emergency response.
When is the right time?
The difficult question is, when is it time to seek support? For those who seek care for a loved one, there can be many contributing factors and early signs that support may be required. In some instances, it may be that the primary carer, either husband or wife, son or daughter or the friendly next-door neighbour is no longer available. It’s crucial to look out for key signs to get care in place, your desired care provider may have long waiting lists, so there is no harm in putting provisions in place before situations escalate.
Signs to look out for
- An empty fridge; highlights that your loved one is no longer able to do their shopping.
- Unwashed dishes can be a sign that your loved one needs help.
- Bills that are usually paid without any issue begin to pile up.
- Lost interest in meals.
- A decline in their personal hygiene.
- Missed doctor’s appointments and social arrangements.
- Losing track of medication; can have an incredibly harmful outcome.
- Sudden signs of depression and an unwillingness to leave the house.
- Frailty – Your loved one may become physically impaired and unable to carry out day to day tasks.
- Persitant confusion and delirium – may be caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs).
You’ve spotted the signs; how do you address the situation?
Talking about care can be daunting for all parties involved; however, it’s essential that you do. Your main concern may be, “how do I talk to my loved one about this”? Just follow these steps:
Plan what you’re going to say
Expressing the right words in difficult situations isn’t easy. Planning and thinking about what you’re going to say could be extremely useful. You don’t need to read from a script; however, you should consider doing your research. The chat will need to be informed, so it would be good to know your options, either do your own research, chat with your local authority or get in touch with a local home care provider to speak to a Care Expert.
You don’t need to have this conversation alone; perhaps include those closest to help ease some tension. Most importantly, show compassion; this could be difficult to hear depending on capacity. Just remember, you have your loved ones’ best interests at heart.
Environment and time
Make sure to choose a location and time to make your loved one feel as comfortable as possible. There is no guarantee that the conversation will run smoothly, and it may be the first of many discussions. You should also consider involving your local GP, as it may take someone on neutral ground to relay the message, and it will also likely guarantee that the correct information is shared.
Choosing home care that’s right for you
At this point in the process, you will have now decided that sourcing home care for you or your loved one is essential. One of the most challenging parts of the process is having the initial conversations; at this stage, it’s time to let the experts help guide you through. There will be deciding factors for you when choosing your provider, here are some points to consider:
- First impressions after consultation
- Home Care services
- CQC Rating
- Care Technology
- Value for money
When selecting your provider, it is worth considering what’s the most time effective. Amongst dealing with care for your loved one, you’ll likely be juggling other responsibilities, so picking a provider that is responsive, efficient and aided by innovative technology will make a real difference.
How to pay for home care
All home care providers set their payment rates; therefore, care decisions are based on affordability and quality. Costs are typically dependent on the needs and outcomes; domiciliary care is charged hourly, whereas live-in care costs will be drafted differently and will likely be higher due to the round-the-clock care.
If you are concerned about covering the cost of care with your desired home care provider, try not worry. You might be eligible for health and social care contributions from your local council, often referred to as a personal budget. You can ask your local authority to manage your budget for you, contribute it to a provider of your choice, or you or a loved one can receive the payment directly to take control yourself – this is known as a direct payment.