by Jamie Wilson · September 10, 2015
Watching someone we love get older can be difficult, especially if we see them starting to lose their independence. Fear for ageing parents keeps many of us up at night and it’s natural to want the best for our elderly – but deciding what the best is can be difficult.
An increasingly popular care option is home care. There are many benefits of home care which allows your loved ones to stay in their own home, in surroundings they know and love, while they age with dignity. While home care isn’t suitable for everyone, for many people it offers a very viable alternative to the traditional – and often dreaded – care home environment.
Whether you hire a professional carer or you’re planning to care for your elderly parents yourself, there are some convincing reasons to consider a home care solution.
Here we look at the 7 biggest benefits of home care, to help you make an informed decision about the next steps for your ageing loved ones.
Benefits of Home Care:
1 – It’s what they want
The first major benefit of home care is that it’s generally what your relatives want. Understandably, the vast majority of the elderly are reluctant to leave their own home unless absolutely necessary. If medically feasible, home care is often the best option because it allows your elderly parents to stay in a safe, familiar environment where they’re happy and settled.
2 – Independence
Studies concord that overwhelmingly, the elderly fear loss of independence more than dying – and home care allows the retention of independence. Even the small things – deciding when to take tea and biscuits for example – can mean a huge amount to someone who has spent their whole life making those decisions for themselves.
3 – Affordable
Affordability is another benefit of home care, often home care is a significantly more affordable option than a care home, the prices for which are rising year on year. The actual cost of home care will depend on the type of care you go with.
For example, having a full time live-in home carer is one of the most expensive options. While we’re seeing a big rise in the number of families opting for a more flexible pop-in, pop-out care structure. ECaring suggest that a good rule of thumb is that 8 hours or less per day of home care will be less expensive than a care home.
4 – Stability
Home care allows your relative to maintain their role in their community, interacting with friends and neighbours as they normally would and continuing with their routines.
There’s a health benefit to this too – routine helps keep the elderly alert and involved, can help combat the onset of disorientation associated with memory loss, and improves sleep quality too.
5 – Flexibility
Home care is a flexible care solution, allowing your relative to have as little or as much care as they need, as and when they need it. This flexibility makes home care an excellent middle ground between a care home and entirely independent living.
For example, one of the biggest issues affecting the elderly is loneliness – but if your relative is still relatively independent, a care home is often an unnecessary step. Home care is able to provide companionship, without committing to a 24/7 care solution.
6 – Personalised care
It’s to be expected that personalised care is limited in a care home setting, where staff have multiple people to focus on at any one time. In contrast, home care is completely bespoke, tailored to the individual needs of your parent or relative and able to adapt as those needs change.
7 – Eases emotional burden
The emotional cost elderly relatives can have on the rest of the family is one of the least talked about elements of elderly care – and one of the most significant.
Concerns about an elderly family member can cause feelings of guilt, resentment, fear and a sense of loss – and knowing your relative is in a safe, secure, dignified home care environment can go a long way to alleviating those emotions.
At the end of the day, there’s no definitive right answer when it comes to choosing a care solution for your elderly relative and benefits of home care with vary from family to family. Each individual has different needs and preferences, and the most important thing is to address those needs with sensitivity. Saying that, home care is rapidly increasing in popularity for the 7 reasons above and in many situations, home care can offer a real, viable alternative to a care home.