According to Age UK , 1 in 5 people aged between 50 and 64 in the UK provide care to their loved ones, or to another elderly relative. Around a third of the 6.5 million people who are family caregivers in the UK are aged 65 and over and the caregivers aged 75 and over has increased by over 30% within the last two decades.
Recent Statistics also tell us that by 2039 there will be over 74 million people in the UK and over 18% of those people will be over 65. There are now 12.4 million people aged 65 or over in the UK and the Office for National Statistics has predicted a 36% growth in over 85s between 2015 and 2025, from 1.5 to 2 million across the UK. There’s no doubt all this will lead to a substantial increase in demand for care.
Families are leaving care planning later and later
The majority of people don’t plan for their later life care so when illness or disability strikes an elderly relative their families often don’t know who to turn to for help and reliable information about care choices.
They find themselves in a crisis situation without the knowledge to make an informed decision. This can result in a rushed decision and the assumption that a residential or nursing home is the only viable choice.
As early as possible, it pays to seek independent financial advice from an expert who is qualified to discuss later life care with you.
The importance of finding the right care
As elderly loved ones and parents reach their later years, it’s often the responsibility of their family members to care for them. Although loved deeply, further pressures of distance and time constraints can make it difficult for relatives to provide the necessary level of support they need to live safely in their own home. At the same time, family members become aware of their concerns about losing their independence as they begin to rely on others more and more for their daily routine.
These feelings of dependency often lead to anxiety for all concerned. Something important to remember is that caring for loved ones shouldn’t be a burden or responsibility to bear alone. Thankfully, care support is available. In addition to siblings and other family members, there are experts, professionals, resources, and loads of information to help you in caring for elderly parents.
Explaining to your loved one that they need a carer is never an easy conversation to have, but you just need to remember that they are likely very aware of their current condition.
A lot of what stops a person asking for help is pride and the need to feel independent. Therefore, ensure that you mention how much more independent they would feel if they could go about their day without feeling like their body is stopping them. That extra human assistance will go a long way because they’ll have more energy to put towards the better part of their day.
Residential care is often the first thing that you might think of when you think about later life care. However, it is not the preferred option for many people. Most residential care homes operate in a ‘one size fits all’ routine where staff help all clients get dressed and ready for the day at the same time, and they are all dressed for bed at the same time, eat at the same time, and are moved into the same areas at the same time.
Of course, staff do their best to provide the best possible care, but it is well known that carers in care homes struggle to spend much quality time with their clients because of the limits placed on the time they have available.
What is live-in care?
Live-in care is when a carer lives with your loved one to provide all the assistance they need to stay in their own home. The live-in carer manages everything that needs to be done in the home. They take care of the housekeeping, shopping, and cooking, and are extremely respectful when providing the personal care needed to maintain a dignified and fulfilling life.
This care at home option may also be attractive to people who find it difficult to adapt to change and could become confused by a new environment. This particularly applies to people living with dementia, for whom continuity and familiar surroundings are important and provide reassurance. Live-in care also provides the supervision that someone living with dementia might need to keep them safe.
Live-in care is an increasingly popular alternative to moving into a care home – especially for those who have higher support needs.
Why live-in care at home?
Staying at home with a professional carer will result in better health and well-being, dignity, independence and enjoyment of life.
Nearly three quarters of us want to stay in our own homes as we get older – and we definitely DON’T want to move into residential care. With shocking news stories commonplace, a staggering 97 percent of people do not want to go into a care home if they become ill or less able to cope. ( No Place Like Home Report” commissioned by the Live in care hub )
Outstanding one-to-one care at home
It is very understandable that so many people want to stay in their homes, with their pets and partners and everything that is familiar to them so, naturally, would like a better alternative to residential care. Luckily, there is a life-enhancing alternative to care homes that is available to many people and that is live-in care. Live-in care is a fantastic alternative to residential care where your loved one is able to remain in the comfort of their own home, whilst receiving professional care provided by a live-in carer.
Despite a common misconception that live-in care is much more expensive compared to moving in to a residential care home, in many instances it is an affordable alternative and can even be less expensive when a couple is being cared for at home. With live-in care, the level of care is completely tailored to the needs of the client because the care is 1-to-1. Carers working in live-in care are able to completely excel in their duties, offering the kind of care they were trained to provide.
Better quality of life
The Live-in Care Hub’s new quality of life study suggests that a third of those in residential care and over half in nursing homes never leave their home, compared with just one in five (21%) live in. The study also highlights that one in six (15.2%) of people in nursing homes say they have no control over their daily life compared to only 3% of those people interviewed who have live-in carers.
Bridget Warr, Former Chief Executive of the UK Homecare Association says :“Staying safe and well at home is the best solution for people, their families and communities. Live-in homecare has an essential role working with the health service. It can make a real difference to avoiding hospital admission, which is traumatic for anyone, but particularly for people with dementia or advancing frailty.”
The social care system is in crisis.
The Coronavirus pandemic has shown that Care and Nursing Homes, despite the valiant efforts of their heroic staff, are not able to give their residents a safe, dignified and happy last few months or years of life.
What does give people the care, safety, dignity and the value for money that they want and need? The live in care hub newly updated Better at Home report 2021 shows that there really is “Nowhere Better Than Home“. Research concludes that the UK’s institutionalised approach to elderly care is broken, despite the very best efforts of care home staff.
If you, or a loved one, are facing the emotional decision of finding the right elderly care, it is important to reach out in times of need, remember that there is support out there for you.
A live-in carer is a different type of companion. The main focus is on providing the best company and support that you could ask for, as well as attention and round-the-clock care. It’s really exceptional when you think about it – by the very nature of what they do, they care far more than any residential worker ever would.
This portion of your life isn’t one which has to be lonely and sad and a live-in carer might just be the water bucket in the face that loneliness needs. It helps to shake off the melancholy and apathy while reminding you that while you aren’t necessarily at a physical peak anymore, you don’t have to be alone and brooding.
Supporting the NHS
The live-in home care option is not only life-enhancing for the person being cared for, it can also help families and the health service. It offers a very efficient and effective solution to one of the NHS’s major issues, that of hospital ‘bed blocking’
The strain on our NHS is showing, with overworked staff and overcrowded wards. It’s time that we start to work collaboratively to tackle this national problem. No one wants to be stuck in hospital when they are well enough to return home or be cared for in the community.
Happiness is NOT a luxury – everyone needs it!
Live-in carers help clients enjoy things in life that bring happiness: seeing friends, baking, gardening or reading a great book. For many of us, caring is simply part of family life. We may have grown up with a parent, sibling or grandparent who needed care, or maybe as a parent we can see how caring is shaping our family life. By helping an elderly loved one live independently you’re allowing them to live confidently, in the home they love as well as letting them retain their current lifestyle and access to absolutely all of their belongs and treasured memories. Whether that’s by making changes to their lifestyle, home or outside support, you can’t put a price on the freedom to live on your own terms.
Peace of mind for loved ones
Live-in care is a long established but relatively unknown, growing alternative to residential and nursing care that substantially extends the care choice available to the individual. It allows someone with high levels of need to remain in their own home and community and lead a good quality life in familiar surroundings.
“I expect live-in care to continue to grow in popularity and to become the high quality first care choice of many people” Dr. Glen Mason, Director of People, Communities and Local Government, Department of Health.
Knowing that you require care or your loved one requires care can be very difficult, but knowing there is an option for care that doesn’t involve the upheaval and distress associated moving to a care home is a blessing for many families. Live-in care can be a better option for later life care and it is important to know that it is a viable and affordable option.