According to Age UK’s Care in Crisis report of 2014, the number of older people receiving home care from 2012 to 2013 fell by 21 per cent. This is a good indication that fewer people today are benefitting from preventative services that could support them to live in their own homes for longer.
Personalised home care gives many more older people the chance to live a fulfilled independent life at home by putting the person at the centre of the service they receive. Personalised home care gives the service user, their family and their friends the confidence that they are getting everything they need – whether that’s a cup of tea and a chat once a week or a daily visit to support with more complex needs. This confidence is built through a recommended open door policy for family members to ensure all aspects of the user’s care are being addressed.
Triangle Community Services is a subsidiary of national charity Friends of the Elderly. Our combined history, experience and expertise means that we have a unique understanding of the personal needs of individuals, from personal care; daily living support; companionship; support for family and carers; to complex care, including learning disability, mental health, dementia and long-term conditions.
The organisation has adopted the Helen Sanderson Association (HAS) ‘One Page Profile’ to ensure we effectively plan for their care needs. The profile is created with the service user and their families and includes a photograph, their likes and dislikes and how best to work with them. The profile also allows us to understand and support service users’ cultural and religious choices. We utilise this system to deliver care that is culturally sensitive. The profiles identify the beliefs and values of staff and service users to help us form working partnerships. Plans are updated daily using the learning logs completed by staff after each visit. This helps us ensure that the right care is being provided at any given time.
Ultimately, personalisation starts with the individual and – depending upon their circumstances – they remain the focus for all of the work we do. As home carers, our role is to help users find a balance between being happy and content and healthy and safe, which includes encouraging them to take positive risks.
Providing quality home care can be a challenge – with the radical new Social Care Act 2014; pressure on resources, staffing, money and time; and of course the challenges of individual services users. For us, these challenges don’t negate the need for and importance of personalisation in home care but often make the argument for it more apparent.
Every day we see how personalised home care contributes to the well being of service users, who often say they don’t know what they would do if we didn’t visit them. We believe it is something that all home care providers should be doing to support the needs of older people in the UK.