When parents and loved ones get older and become less able to care for themselves properly, it can be difficult to decide what’s best for them.
While many need more dedicated care in retirement homes and special residences, some find that homecare offers them the attention they need whilst allowing them to remain at home independently.
Remaining at Home
Sadly, some feel that living at home is no longer an option due to ill health. However, many older people would prefer to remain in their own homes for as long as it is possible to do so.
By living in the same area they’ve lived in for years, relationships built over years will be able to continue and neighbours and friends will be able to interact with them regularly and maybe even keep an eye on them. By continuing to live at home, older people can also feel more comfortable. This is because they are in familiar surroundings and they are reminded of the happy memories in their home. In addition to this, being independent is a priority for many. By completing manageable tasks each day, thus maintaining independence and staying active, older people can feel healthier and happier for longer.
Homecare can meet many practical needs, such as help with housework and general day-to-day healthcare. But staying at home and receiving care can meet emotional and social needs too. By interacting with the local community and enjoying home comforts, older people can also enjoy a sociable and emotionally satisfying life.
Many people enjoy a warm and personal relationship with their care workers. By interacting regularly with care staff, they can feel assured that their problems and needs are being dealt with professionally. It also gives older people a chance to interact with others, which can help to prevent common issues such as loneliness, social exclusion and feelings of abandonment.
Each person is different, and everyone requires a different level of care. A “one size fits all” approach is never suitable where care is concerned, but especially not in the case of older, more vulnerable individuals. Care workers understand this and treat people with the respect and attention they deserve. This means that when families choose homecare services, they feel assured that their loved ones are being looked after in a warm and professional manner.
Recovery After Time in Hospital
Some older people go into full-time care after suffering serious health issues or spending time in hospital. However, it is more often than not possible for some to return home and live independently with the assistance of care workers. A huge range of staff are available to help vulnerable people find their feet again and regain their independence. NHS staff such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists may be able to help even further, with most of these services provided in the home.
Simple tasks such as washing, dressing, preparing food and cleaning can become difficult for people who have experienced health problems. Care workers can help them regain these skills and assist them with basic tasks.
How to Find Support
Care workers can help with a wide range of activities that often get harder as people become older. Bathing, shopping and getting into bed, for example, are all routine activities that can become difficult or impossible in later life.
Contact your local council’s adult social services department to find out which type of care your relative may be entitled to, and any financial support that you may receive. There are also a wide range of private homecare services available online.
Adapting the Home
There is also a wide variety of equipment and technology available for older people who choose to remain at home. Advancing technology means that people can remain independent for longer whilst they receive homecare.
Depending on the healthcare needs of the individual in question, small modifications can be made to the exterior of their home in order to make it more accessible. Ramps, rails and outdoor lighting, for example, can make the home an easier place to get around.
Stairlifts, additional banisters and wider doors for wheelchair access can make the interior easier for older people to use. Bathrooms can also benefit from walk-in baths, thermometers, flood detectors, shower seats and bath lifts.
There are many devices specially designed to make the kitchen a safe and comfortable place. Kettle tippers, perching stools, cupboards with pull-out shelves, one-handed chopping boards and wheelchair-accessible sinks mean that elderly people can use their kitchens much more easily.
Safety at home is paramount and accessories such as personal alarms, pressure sensors and carbon monoxide detectors can all make the home a safer place to be. If you decide that staying at home is the best option for your loved one, ensuring the safety of their home is vital, and implementing homecare to work alongside assistive technology can significantly increase their quality of life.
Helping to Improve Lives
If you are concerned about an elderly relative or neighbour, homecare is an option to seriously consider. By allowing people to stay in their community and receive care in the comfort of their own home, they can remain independent for much longer.