When it comes to care options for an elderly loved one, moving into a residential home requires a big lifestyle change – both for the person who needs care, and for their relatives – which is why, for many families, home care is often the preferred solution. We’ve taken a look at some of the advantages of providing care for your loved one in the comfort of their own home, and why it might be the best option for them, and you!
For most people, the biggest advantage of home care is that their loved one can remain in their own home in surroundings they are familiar with. This can be particularly beneficial for those who are living with dementia. Being able to continue sleeping in their own bed and carry on with their regular daily routine can bring a sense of comfort and can even slow the progression of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Keeping it Personal
Another big benefit of home care is that the care plan is customised to fit your family’s needs, rather than everyone having to adjust to the routines and schedules of a care facility. This flexibility means the care can be adapted to the individual, whether your loved one needs just a few hours of daily assistance, or full-time care.
Further reading: What types of home care can i get?
The staff at care facilities are excellent and skilled at their jobs, but often they are tending to the needs of many clients at once, and so it can be impossible to give every individual the attention they require. Home care is personal in nature, and your loved one will be their caregiver’s primary focus. This can, again, be very important to someone who is living with progressive memory loss, as they will always be seeing the same face. It also means that your loved ones needs could be met faster than they would be if they were in a residential home.
Peace of Mind
Of course this applies to elderly relatives receiving care in a facility too, but if your loved one insists on remaining in their own home for as long as possible, at least if they are receiving home care you won’t have to sit around worrying that they’ve slipped in the shower or injured themselves performing other daily activities. Plus, you have the reassurance that your relative has seen a friendly face that day, which is really important for family members who live far away, or who can’t visit as often as they’d like due to work or other commitments.
Further reading: How home care can help support those with dementia
If you were to ask your elderly relative what they think the advantages of home care are, this would be pretty high up the list. Loss of independence is a huge concern for older people who have spent many years working, raising families, and living life the same as everyone else. Home care allows an older person to maintain control over their daily lives; continuing to live by their own schedule and choosing when to socialise, eat, or sleep. Home care can be particularly beneficial to those who want to maintain their independence but can no longer drive, as a carer can often run errands or get them to social activities, thereby supporting them living independently.
Research shows that patients will recover faster from illnesses in the comfort of their own homes. This is largely down to stress levels being lower in an environment you are comfortable with, which aids recovery, and also having a decreased risk of developing an infection or being exposed to outside germs. Older people who receive at home care following an injury or surgery are much less likely to end up being readmitted to hospital.
It Can Be More Cost Effective
For a lot of families, the cost of care for an elderly loved one can often be a deciding factor in what road they go down, and depending on the level of care required, home care can work out much cheaper than living in a residential home. It also means that your loved one won’t have to sell their home in order to pay for their care, as so often happens.
Feeling isolated and lonely is a huge problem for the elderly, particularly for those who live alone and don’t have relatives or friends living nearby. Having a carer at home provides regular human connection with a friendly face, which can have a huge impact on mental health and overall well-being. More often than not the relationship between carer and client becomes a trusted and valued friendship – which is comforting to know if you have a loved one receiving at home care.
Further reading: How to deal with loneliness as we get older?
With home care you’ll be able to be involved in the finer details of your loved one’s care plan, and will receive updates regarding their care if you have any queries or concerns. Having this direct line of communication with your relative’s caregiver provides yet more peace of mind. If your relative was in a care home you would probably have to speak to reception and then find out who provided care to your relative most recently in order to have any questions answered, rather than instantly knowing who it is you need to speak to.
Having a Pet
For a lot of older people, particularly those who have lost a partner or who live alone, pet ownership can be incredibly important. Owning a pet has been shown to reduce stress, ease loneliness, and even reduce heart disease. Home care allows an older person to continue enjoying the benefits of pet ownership, even if they might need some assistance in caring for their furry friend.
If you have any questions about home care, or you want to speak to a member of our time about care options for yourself or a loved one, please do get in touch.