Making the right choice of care
Unfortunately, most of us will need to help our parents or an older person find the right care in later life.
Needing care doesn’t have to mean going into a care home. You really need to take time to think about what you’re the older person wants but also what they really need, whether that’s support in the home, personal care help, or whether they need more full-time care, either at home or in a home.
There are many different care options
- Domestic home care –There is a wide range of support available, depending on your parent’s needs. It may include assistance with washing, dressing, housework, meals, getting up in the morning and going to bed at night. Myageingparent.com have some great advice on how to employ domestic carers and the right questions to ask choosing care at home
- Personal assistant – a personal assistant is a person employed to support your parent at home or in the community. They can be paid for from your own funds, or from a personal budget that you get from your council. PAs help with daily routines and activities and help your parent to live independently
- Aids– can help your parent manage at home you have, without having to move. These may include minor things such as handrails, or major things such as level access showers or stair-lifts
- Assistive technology –Sometimes known as ‘telecare’, this kind of technology aided care can help monitor health, safety and wellbeing
- Meals on wheels – usually arranged by social services, but provided by a private organisation or charity. Your relative should be able to receive special meals to meet their specific medical, cultural or religious requirements.
- Day centres – run by social services or, by local organisations such as charities. They offer an opportunity to get out of the house and socialise, take part in activities and have a meal.
- Homeshare schemes – this may be worth considering if your relative has extra space in their home. Your parent is matched with a younger person who would live in their home and provide help in exchange for accommodation Read more about homeshare
- Supported housing – offers self-contained accommodation with care and support services close at hand.
- Retirement villages – where you can buy your own home with care and activities on hand if you want them Retirement villages information
Care homes – A care home is a residential setting where a number of older people live, usually in single rooms, and have access to on-site care services. Since April 2002, all homes in England, Scotland and Wales are known as ‘care homes’, but are registered to provide different levels of care
- A home registered simply as a care home will provide personal care only, i.e help with washing, dressing and giving medication.
- A home registered as a care home with nursing will provide the same personal care, but also have a qualified nurse on duty twenty-four hours a day to carry out nursing tasks. These homes are for people who are physically or mentally frail, or people who need regular attention from a nurse
- Typically, all meals are provided in a care home and staff are on call at all times
- Some homes, registered either for personal care or nursing care, can also be registered for a specific care need, for example dementia or terminal illness. Read more information on care homes.
Finally, plan ahead!
- Many of us don’t think about care options until we really need to and then find ourselves struggling to navigate the care system at a time of great stress
- Try to plan ahead as much as possible, to make the process a little easier for everyone
www.myageingparent.com is a UK-focused information website and social forum aiming to providing everything you need, or want to know or discuss about caring for an older person all in one place. From positive ways to keep them active and healthy, to maintaining their financial and legal needs, through to specific information on care options, local authority funding and age-related health issues. The website draws on a wide range of experts, consultants, lawyers and charities, providing an authoritative and continuously updated source of information. It a member of The Society of Later Life Advisors and is used as a key information resource by many UK local authorities and GP practices. Contact [email protected]
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