There are all sorts of care services available for the elderly, but how do we know which is right for us?
Usually, as we get older we struggle to complete daily tasks as well as we used to, such as shopping, cleaning and cooking, there's only so much help we can get from family members and friends before it can be a bit of a burden on them to look after you 24/7. This is when you know it's time to look into care support. But what are the options?
Care Homes are designed to support the elderly 24/7 with a rotation of staff available at all hours of the day to assist with cooking, washing, medication, laundry and personal care. These care homes are usually for elderly people who have low mobility who can't live out their usual day-to-day lives anymore and need assistance to look after themselves properly. Care homes don't have Nurses on site but District Nurses do often visit to check up on medical issues within the residents. Opticians, Chiropodists and Hairdressers also visit on a regular basis.
Care Homes provide home-cooked meals throughout the day as well as activities and other forms of entertainment for the residents to enjoy together. It's also a great place for seniors to find friendships amongst each other. Care Homes can assist various types of care needs such as palliative care, respite care, early-onset dementia care, complex care needs, day care, retirement care and long/short stay care.
Nursing Homes are very similar to Care Homes in that the residents get 24/7 support as well as housekeeping and activities from care assistants but there are also Nurses onsite at all times, too. It's a place for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home. Some Nursing Homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy. There might be a Nurses' station on each floor. Some nursing homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Dementia. Nursing homes are usually better for elderly individuals suffering from Dementia (whereas Care Homes only assist those with early-onset Dementia).
Home Care / Domiciliary Care is where an individual is visited by a care assistant throughout the day in their own home. Services may involve routine household tasks within or outside the home, personal care of the client and other associated domestic services necessary to maintain an individual in an acceptable level of health, hygiene, dignity, safety and ease in their home. Other examples are preparing meals, bathing, pet care, driving, and running errands.
This type of care can be as short as 30 minutes of care per week to several daily visits depending on the individual’s specific needs. For those coming out of the hospital, assistance in the comfort of home is a reassuring option rather than an extended stay in a hospital setting.
It's important to distinguish what kind of assistance you need in order to determine what type of care service you need. If you can live happily independently and just need help occasionally while living in the comfort of your own home, then Domiciliary care would be the right fit for you. If you need more assistance throughout the day with personal care, cleaning and cooking then a Care Home would be right for you - perhaps a Nursing Home depending on your medical history.