Home Care – A Real Alternative To Residential Care

Home care is a real viable alternative to a Residential Home.

Many elderly people have a morbid fear of ‘going into a home.’ They can experience enormous stress in the years leading up to care becoming critical. In addition there is the very real possibility of the family home being sold to fund care home costs. There are many advantages to planning ahead in this scenario, emotional, practical and financial.

So where do you start? The starting point has to be the equivalent of the Local Authority Needs Assessment. This process attempts to understand all of the elements relating to an individual. This includes their state of health and how much help they need to undertake everyday tasks. A doctor’s report is normally included and any assistance currently given by friends, relatives or other health professionals is taken into account.

This process does not necessarily need to involve the Local Authority; indeed this itself can generate stress. The end result however should be the same, a definitive understanding of the levels of daily care required from simple meals to constant supervision or nursing intervention.

home care

Duty of Care

It is worth pointing out that the Local Authorities in the UK have a duty of care for vulnerable adults. This means they are compelled to provide care under section 47 of the NHS Community Care Act of 1990. This care will include home care for those individuals at the lower scale of care requirements.

Once the level of care is decided alternative methods of meeting those needs can be discussed. For some this can be limited to a daily check, meal preparation and basic cleaning. Similarly some elderly people need help with washing and dressing. This can be both morning and evening with meal times taken care of with pre-prepared meals overseen by the carer. The high cost of residential care homes also means that live in care is financially feasible in some circumstances.

The beauty of home care is that it is totally flexible with services increased or reduced as necessary. Care can also be shared with family members the individual experiencing the benefit of a consolidated support team.

Care of the elderly is an important issue in our society today. The elderly population is expected to increase significantly over the next few decades; this is particularly the case in affluent Cities in the South East such as Cambridge.  This population deserve the best care we can provide for them and ‘one size’ does not fit all. As individual as we are in life, we deserve nothing less than individuality in our final years.

Care homes and home care in Cambridgeshire written by Karen James, prolific writer for Business, Health and Marketing segments

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5007469891/

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