Elderly Home Care Services in the UK: Things you Need to Know
Home care services provide assistance and support to elderly, disabled individuals and those in need, who wish to remain independent and live in their own homes. Elderly home care services provide essential support with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and cooking, helping individuals to maintain their independence and quality of life, while receiving the assistance they need.
Home care also plays a critical role in preventing hospital admissions and reducing the length of hospital stays, as it allows individuals to receive medical care and monitoring in the comfort of their own homes. The NHS reports that home care is the most commonly used form of social care in the UK, with 1.5 million people receiving some form of home care in 2020.
Types of Home Care Services
Home care can be broadly divided into two categories - live-in care and visiting home care or domiciliary care.
Live-in care refers to home care in which a professional caregiver moves in with the individual in need of care to provide 24 hour care and support. Live-in care is an excellent option for individuals who need round-the-clock care, but do not want to leave the comfort of their homes.
Benefits of live-in care include:
- A professional caregiver will be assigned to provide care to a single individual, ensuring personalised care.
- The same caregiver will provide care for the individual, ensuring continuity of care.
- Live-in care provides round-the-clock supervision, ensuring safety and preventing accidents.
Domiciliary Care or Visiting Home Care
Visiting home care, also known as domiciliary care, is where a professional caregiver visits an individual's home to provide care and support. Visiting home care is an excellent option for individuals who require assistance with daily activities but do not need round-the-clock care.
Benefits of Domiciliary care include:
- Visiting home care can be scheduled according to the individual's needs, providing flexibility.
- Visits can be tailored to the individual's specific needs and preferences.
- Care visits provide an opportunity for social interaction, which is essential for mental well-being.
How much does Elderly Home Care Services cost?
The expenses associated with in-home care in the United Kingdom vary based on a number of factors. Generally, live-in care can cost anywhere from £600 to £1,200 per week, depending upon the level of care required and the location of the person receiving care. On the other hand, hourly home care costs in the UK are in the range of £15 to £30 per hour, depending on similar factors.
For those individuals who are unable to afford home care in the UK, Local Councils may be able to provide financial support. The amount of financial assistance provided by the Councils depends on various factors, including the level of care required, the person's savings and income, and other financial considerations. An additional option for financing care services is long-term care insurance.
Services Offered by Home Care Providers
Home care providers offer a range of services to support individuals with their daily living activities. Here are the elderly home care services that are commonly offered:
Personal care involves assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and feeding. Personal care services can also include help with mobility, medication management, and incontinence (loss of bladder control) care. Personal care services can benefit individuals by improving their quality of life and independence.
Companionship services involve providing emotional support and social interaction to individuals. This can include engaging in conversation, playing games, and going on outings. Companionship services can benefit individuals by reducing their feelings of loneliness and social isolation, and improving their mental health.
Household tasks involve assistance with household chores, such as cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, transportation, and pet care. Household tasks services can benefit individuals by enabling them to maintain a clean and safe home environment (also reducing the risk of falls and accidents in the home).
Choosing a Home Care Provider
When it comes to choosing a elderly home care services provider, there are several factors that should be considered to ensure that you or your loved one receive the best possible care.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Care Provider
- Look for a home care provider with a good reputation and positive reviews. You can ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or research online.
- Consider what services the home care provider offers and whether they match the individual's needs.
- Ensure that the home care provider's staff is qualified and trained to provide the necessary care.
- Home care can be expensive, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the payment options available.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Care Provider
- How do you match caregivers to clients? It's important to know how the home care provider matches caregivers to clients to ensure a good fit and a positive care experience.
- What happens if the regular caregiver is unavailable? Find out what the provider's policy is for when the regular caregiver is unavailable. Will a substitute caregiver be provided, and how will they be trained and introduced to the client?
- What is your policy on changing caregivers? It's important to know if you or your loved one can request a change of caregiver if necessary, and how the provider handles such requests.
Home care services can offer a wide range of benefits to elderly and disabled individuals, as well as their families. These services can provide personal care, companionship, and assistance with household tasks, all in the comfort of the individual's own home. By choosing the right home care provider and payment option, individuals can ensure that they receive the care and support they need to maintain their independence and quality of life.