As our population ages and staying healthier for longer becomes a growing concern, elderly care is constantly adapting and changing to meet ever-increasing demand. However staying on top of these changes and understanding what options are available for you can be difficult.
At UK Care Guide we specialise in providing resources and assistance to those requiring elderly care and their families. In particular we stress the importance of being prepared for the prospect of elderly care – making sure that you are informed of the processes involved and financial implications early on in order to make appropriate arrangements.
In this article we explain how elderly care in the UK is changing – predominantly for the better – and how it affects you.
One of the most positive aspects of the evolution of elderly care is its shift from just one single type of care to a range that suits different preferences and requirements.
Where once elderly care meant forfeiting your independence and leaving the home and people you love behind, it is now offered on a person-centred basis.
Residential care has become a last resort for those with specialist, advanced needs, whilst other options are more independence-friendly.
These include assisted living homes, which allows residents to live in a safe, secure environment independently and access help as and when they need it. The home care industry is booming – with large and small agencies alike offering a range of care services – from companionship to complete nursing care – all in the service user’s own home. Live-in elderly care is another popular option for individuals who would prefer to access care at home, but have more advanced or intensive requirements. Find out more about live-in care below.
One elderly care option that is seeing increased popularity year on year is live-in care. It’s officially a new type of care – but of course it’s rooted in a very traditional way of looking after an elderly family member. Elderly care at home is naturally the preferred option for many, but until now it hasn’t always been possible for those with more advanced care needs.
Live-in care is now provided by a number of specialist agencies up and down the UK, who source experienced carers to live with their client and provide a holistic service.
This includes companionship, everyday errands, cleaning and in some cases medical and personal care. The comprehensive nature of live-in care makes it a convenient and reliable option – as the person requiring care is never left alone, and all their needs are catered for.
It also eliminates the need to source lots of different services from several companies.
You can source live-in care privately, although this isn’t recommended for those with advanced care needs, or who are short on the time and experience needed to make a sound choice.
Live-in care is understandably a costly option compared with traditional at-home elderly care – as it needs to cover the wages and expenses of the person administering the care. But add up the different services it includes (such as cleaning, cooking and nursing care) and it usually works out as a more cost-effective choice.
Where residential homes once provided only one general type of elderly care there are now many to choose from – both privately owned and local authority run.
Broadly speaking care homes can be broken down into two categories – residential and nursing. But within these two groups there is a range of sub-categories. Some specialise in Dementia, some specialise in cancer care.
Others are ‘premium homes’, or blend sheltered accommodation and residential care together in the form of a retirement village. Therefore the type of care home you choose will now depend on your personal preferences, budget and needs.
The financial implications of care are a worry for many older people – who fear that they may not have put enough aside to pay for elderly care.
Unfortunately the cost of care rises year on year – especially within the private sector. For this reason it’s crucial that you secure professional advice as early as possible, so that you can divide and use your assets wisely.
This also increases your chances of being cared for in the location and manner of your choosing. You can find a list of trusted later life financial advisors here on the UK Care Guide website.
We’re living longer – but that doesn’t have to mean that our quality of life should drop as we age. There are now so many ways to stay fit and healthy – and continual research brings to light fresh ideas to help us maintain our wellbeing and independence.
Elderly care is inevitable for some – but not for all, and investing in your health and staying well is the key to a happy, longer life.
Simple things, such as eating healthily, keeping active and getting social are increasingly important as we age. T
here are many affordable groups and activities now available nationally to help people of all ages and abilities to keep fit – and eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive with a little know-how.
If you’re concerned about your future health prospects, speak to your GP and discuss your lifestyle with them. They may be able to provide advice and refer you to support groups. You can learn more about staying independent for longer and looking after your health in later life here.