Domiciliary Care (Home Care) – A comprehensive guide
Im sure you will agree that when it comes to finding out about domiciliary care it can get very confusing with the range of things you have to read and understand.
Im this guide we will help answer all the key questions you will have. Including:
- YOUR TOP 12 QUESTIONS ANSWERED, INCLUDING WHAT IS DOMICILIARY CARE AND HOW DOES IT WORK
- HOW TO FIND A DOMICILIARY CARE AGENCY
A bit of background
Domiciliary care, sometimes called home care, is rapidly becoming a popular alternative to residential and nursing care. It enables those with varying care needs (through illness, long-term medical issues or old age) to remain in their own home indefinitely, or for a longer period of time than was previously possible.
But what exactly is the domiciliary care meaning, who is it appropriate for, how can it be accessed and what can you expect when you choose to access care at home?
What is domiciliary care
The domiciliary care definition is a term used to describe at home care.
Increasingly individuals and their families are turning to domiciliary care in favour of traditional residential or nursing care, as beds in homes are filling up and rising in price – with no guarantee that the care provided will be sufficient.
Home care can be offered in a number of capacities – and the intensity and frequency of visits will depend on individual circumstances and care needs. Some only need intensive domiciliary care for short periods of time, whilst others simply need low-level long-term care.
Domiciliary care can also be offered to young people, children and adults with temporary or permanent care needs and is not an exclusive service for the elderly alone.
The main advantage of homecare is that it is carried out in a person’s own home, eliminating the need for them to spend large amounts of time in hospital and enabling them to stay in their own home indefinitely, if not for a longer period of time than would normally have been possible before domiciliary care was an option.
You can read some of the advantages and challenges to home care below.
Your 12 most important questions answered
Question 1 – Who provides the care and what help will I get?
Domiciliary care involves a trained individual or nurse coming to your home periodically to administer care of some kind.
At the basic level this person provides companionship and helps with everyday tasks, such as cleaning the house and buying food shopping. They may only visit once or twice a week.
More intensive domiciliary care may involve a district nurse or healthcare assistant, and could be provided several times daily. In this instance medications can be administered, dressings may be changed, blood tests and other observations may be taken. Help with personal care such as washing, dressing and feeding may also be provided.
2 – Where can I find a domiciliary care provider?
Domiciliary care providers are normally arranged through your local authority, or can be obtained through private domiciliary care agencies. You can use our comprehensive database, of over 10,000 providers to find domiciliary care agencies in your local area or use the search box above.
If sourcing care through a domiciliary care provider, you should get the opportunity to meet the person who will be providing your care, and you’ll be fully briefed on the expectations and provision of care you’ll receive. Local authority carers can be allocated on a random basis, so you may not always see the same person.
3 – What is the difference between domiciliary care services and residential care?
Plainly speaking, domiciliary care services are provided in an individual’s own home, whilst residential care involves the person staying permanently in a specialist establishment set up solely to provide care.
It is important to note that residential homes do differ from nursing homes. Nursing homes provide more intensive care for residents, whereas residential homes can be suitable for people with limited mobility, early onset Dementia and other low-level care needs.
Normally domiciliary care (home care) is a more appropriate alternative to residential care, as those needing nursing care may have care needs which are too severe to be catered for in a domestic setting.
4 – Is home care better then residential care?
One of the most popular reasons behind individuals choosing to opt for domiciliary care services over residential care is the fact that it allows them to stay in their own home.
This is a huge advantage for many older people, especially when they are fit and well enough to reside at home. This less drastic alternative allows an individual to retain their independence and any community ties, as they remain in their local area – in lots of cases they are close to friends and family.
Lots of people don’t need residential care – but previously ended up moving into a residential home or sheltered accommodation purely because there was little provision for care at home. Domiciliary care (home care) changes that – so as little disruption, distress and loss of security occurs as is possible.
There are other benefits – financially, domiciliary care services can work out less expensive than costly residential care, as you pay for your own keep and meals as you would normally. Family and friends may also care for an individual to subsidise the amount of domiciliary care provided, and this can further bring down the cost of care.
5 – Is domiciliary care the right option for me?
Domiciliary care is especially appealing for anyone with care needs wishing to remain in their own home. But determining whether domiciliary care is suitable for you isn’t purely about personal preference.
When deciding whether domiciliary care is for you there are a number of things you’ll need to consider. Firstly you’ll need to assess your care needs – for this you’ll need to contact your GP or social worker, who will order a report on your condition which is made by a medical professional.
Recommendations can then be made regarding the level and type of care you need. You may be entitled to benefits as a result of your condition, and you can use these to pay for your domiciliary care.
6 – I have specific needs. Is specialist domiciliary care available?
Normally domiciliary care is reserved only for those with less intensive care needs, or for those with disabilities or palliative care requirements. Specialist care may need to be provided by a company who deal only with the specific needs in question – or unfortunately domiciliary care may not be an option.
If you have specialist care needs your first step is contacting your GP, consultant or social worker. They will be able to carry out a care assessment (as above) to determine exactly what types of care support (and any equipment) you will need to enable you to live safely, comfortably and independently in your own home.
7 – How can I pay for my care costs?
There are a number of ways you can pay for your care. How you pay and how much you pay will depend on a number of factors – including the area you live in, the amount of money you have in savings and in terms of assets, and the care company you choose.
Even if you feel you have sufficient funds to pay for your care right now it’s important to claim all benefits you are entitled to – because when your contribution to care is worked out it will be calculated as if you already receive everything you are able to claim.
Domiciliary care is subject to the some of the same benefit systems as residential care – although there are some specialist funds and types of benefits available for home care use.
Broadly there are several options you can choose from: