Home care services are becoming increasingly popular as more people choose to remain in their own home for longer. On this page we will:
– Discuss what home care services are
– Share the benefits of home care
– Explain what type of person home care is best suited to
– Offer advice to help you source home care
Previously the only option available to those needing day-to-day care was relocation to a residential or nursing home. Now there are several different options available which allow individuals to access care in line with their personal preferences. This provides much better outcomes for all involved and often significantly improves wellbeing both physically and mentally.
You can search for a home care service provider using the search box at the top or bottom of this page.
– Private home care is a great option for lots of people who would otherwise have ended up accessing residential or nursing care
– It allows you to access the care you need whilst staying in your own home
– Home care services have increased in popularity over the last few years
– There are lots of different types of home care available
– Care at home isn’t suitable for everyone
– Funding options for home care are different compared with residential care
As the name suggests, home care services allow individuals to access the care they need in their own home. This means they’re less likely to need to move out into alternative accommodation, or go into a residential or nursing home. It also extends the time someone can spend living at home – even if they do need to access residential or nursing care at a later date. Home care services are commonly provided by trained professionals or nurses, who come in on a daily basis.
Responsibilities covered by a home carer include:
– Making meals
– Administering medication
– Washing and dressing
– Personal care
– Transport and support at social events and appointments
– Help getting out of and into bed
– Cleaning and housekeeping
The role a home carer will take and how often they visit depends on your personal situation and needs.
Here is a short video that explains more about private home care services.
Home care services are popular mainly because they enable a person to stay living in their own home for longer – or even indefinitely. This greatly enhances quality of life for the person and can even help with certain conditions like dementia as confusion and disorientation are minimised.
Home care services are also versatile and can help save money for people who would otherwise have ended up paying for full-time care in a residential setting. This means that over the course of their care provision they’ll pay much less for care at home compared with residential care.
As an example let’s use Mrs Smith. Mrs Smith has dementia, so she needs someone to come in three times a day to help her get up and go to bed, and prepare meals for her. But she’s safe and happy in her own home. She will pay around £70 a day for care provision that perfectly suits her needs, compared with over £100 per day for round the clock care in a residential home.
Home care services are flexible and diverse. They cater to a wide range of needs and can be tailored to suit your specific requirements. Types of people home care services are best suited to include:
– Elderly people living alone: Home care can ease loneliness and provides an extra pair of hands to help out around the house. This can be especially useful for elderly people who are infirm or have mobility issues.
– Individuals with low-level care needs: Low-level care needs (such as help taking medication, getting dressed and making meals) can easily be addressed with home care.
– Individuals in the early stages of Dementia: Many Dementia patients can safely stay at home for a number of years following diagnosis. Home care provides a flexible option which can increase as their needs progress. You may start for example with one visit a day, increasing to two or three as the Dementia progresses.
– Individuals with long-term health issues or disabilities: People with long-term health issues or disabilities that are unlikely to worsen are ideal candidates for care at home. Home care can be tailored to their specific needs and additional shifts to cover holidays and social events can be arranged.
– Individuals with progressive illness or needs who wish to stay in their own home as long as possible: If you have been diagnosed with a progressive disease or illness, you can access care at home for as long as is possible, delaying the possibility of nursing home requirement.
– You require palliative care: End of life care can be administered at home in certain circumstances, provided specialist medical equipment is not required. This can be offered in conjunction with support from NHS nurses and charitable organisations such as Marie Curie and Macmillan.
However it’s worth remembering that home care isn’t going to be suitable for everyone. Home care services may not be right for you if:
– You need round the clock care and support: . If you still wish to stay in your own home live in care may be a better option.
– You need specialist medical care:
– You need more than three or four visits per day:
– Your home is not suitable or safe for you:
Advantages of home care include:
– Continuity and comfort: Remaining in the environment you call home is beneficial to all involved. You needn’t suffer the upheaval of moving and have space of your own surrounded by your belongings. This is particularly important for people with Dementia, as often living somewhere new can cause significant confusion and upset.
– Financial savings: You won’t need to pay for residential care, which is considerably more costly than home care. Instead you simply pay for what you need when you need it.
– Familiar surroundings: You’ll stay close by to family and friends and can still engage in the social activities you enjoy.
There are very few drawbacks to home care if it is suited to your needs – but there are a couple of potential issues to consider. These include:
– Cost: Home care sourced privately is not cheap – costs range between £15 and £35 an hour. This is fine if you are not in need of regular help or multiple daily visits – but if you require more than a couple of visits per day the costs can mount up. Also bear in mind that some companies charge extra for weekend and evening call outs. You can use our Home Care Cost calculator to estimate what your care will cost you.
– Fewer funding options: As you’ll be living in your home you can’t sell it or rent it out to pay for your care. There are however several other options to finance home care including equity release. You can read about all the other ways to pay for your care here.
There are two types of home care available – private home care, and home care provided by your local authority. The two are very different and can be accessed in different ways.
Home care provided by the local authority:
– Is put in place following assessment by social services, which determines how much care you need and how frequently you need it
– Is means-tested, which means you will only receive free care when you cannot afford to pay for it
– Does not offer choice of provider
– Involves different carers at different times
– Is only offered for 30 minutes per session
Private home care:
– Is chosen and controlled by you. You select the provider and the amount of care you receive, as well as when and how often you receive it you receive it
– Is paid for by you. You may be able to put some benefits payments towards the cost of care. Means-tested direct payments following assessment by your local authority can also be used towards home care costs
– Can be arranged for any time – and the duration is set by you. If you want one hour or two, it isn’t a problem
– Ensures as much as possible that the same person or people will be looking after you, so you can get to know and trust them
Strictly speaking private home care is better – as it is more flexible and care is provided by one set of people rather than lots of different staff. It is however much more costly as a result. If you don’t have sufficient assets to pay for home care but own your property outright, you may be able to release funds from it to pay for private home care.
Need additional advice and support on care at home? Confused about which options are best for you? Browse our related articles today or contact your local Age UK for further information.