Are you worried about the health or welfare of a parent?
It’s never easy coming to terms with the possibility that your mother or father may no longer be coping properly on their own at home. Although they may assure you that everything is “just fine”, you can tell they are starting to struggle.
What is the best course of action? It’s often a difficult subject to discuss with a parent, especially if they are fiercely independent. But there are options which can improve their situation and their quality of life whilst giving you peace of mind.
What are the options for an ageing parent who is slowing down but wants to maintain their independence?
Leave things as they are for the time being: In view of the difficulties you may encounter in discussing this whole subject with your loved one, this can be tempting! But even if they seem to be coping quite well most of the time and just have the occasional ‘lapse’, it would be wise to begin to prepare for the possibility of requiring more care in future.
Daily visiting care: Daily visiting care is designed for older people who are starting to struggle with just one or two of the activities of daily living, such as shopping and cooking their own meals, or remembering to take their medication at the right time. It tends to work best if the care is provided by a small and stable team of carers. However, many visiting care providers may have trouble recruiting and retaining reliable staff and many service users find that rarely a week goes by without at least one call being missed or shortened because of staff sickness, traffic problems, or calls with other clients taking longer than expected. One other point to bear in mind is that once someone requires more than 4 hours of care per day, it can work out more cost-effective to switch to 24 hour, live-in care.
One variation of daily visiting care is overnight care. This is designed for people who can manage on their own during the day, but tend to have disturbed nights and feel they need the support of a carer overnight. Whilst this is a valuable service, it can work out extremely expensive – often as much as £1,200 a week in the south east.
Have your loved one move in with you: This solution is likely to be the cheapest of all the care options available, but it may not be possible for a whole host of reasons, many of them practical and some of them emotional. To begin with, it might not be an option that any of the parties involved would ever agree to!
A move to an assisted living facility: This would enable your loved one to receive 24 hour care and support, but it would still involve them moving out of their own home, with all the disruption and trauma this would entail. It should also be noted that local authority facilities are few and far between, while private “retirement flats” can be extremely costly to buy, come with inflated service charges and can be notoriously difficult to sell.
Another major disadvantage of encouraging your loved one into an assisted living complex is that, if their health should take a turn for the worse, requiring them to make a further move into a care or nursing home, this would involve a further round of disruption and expense.
A move to a residential care home: This will of course require your loved one to sell their home, dispose of most of their furniture and possessions and get used to the more communal style of living associated with a care home. Whilst some people will adapt quite happily to life in a care home, many others will find the loss of freedom very challenging and may lose all sense of purpose in an environment where they have little independence and where nearly everything is done for them.
Dedicated and customised live-in care: Live-in care with Care at Home will offer your loved one complete continuity of care provided by a reliable professional carer they will quickly get to know and trust. Our care service offers security and peace of mind for the whole family.
Quote from a live-in care client, Berkshire
Having a live in carer has been the best option for Mum who has Parkinsons. She has been able to stay in her home with familiar surroundings. Her friends and neighbours can call in and she can enjoy being in her beautiful garden. Daughter of Mrs P, client in Wokingham, Berkshire.
Quote from a live-in care client, Cambridge
I like the fact that my carer, Angela, helps me do things, she doesn’t just do it for me. We both do the cooking and shopping. She is always trying to think of things to do with me. We go out a lot, which I like.
Mr A. Live-in care client, Cambridge
Quote from a live-in care client in Norfolk
You do an excellent job and have looked after my mother to a very high standard. Her carer is excellent – patient, kind and respectful.. from the Consultant Surgeon son of Mrs K, client in Hunstanton, Norfolk.
Types of care
We offer full-time, one to one, live-in care to meet the following needs:
Is it affordable?
Live-in care with Care at Home costs from £861 a week. This is comparable to the average cost of a care home in the south east and in many other parts of southern and central England. So in many cases, Care at Home will cost less than residential care. For our full price list, click here (opens in new window).
Is it practical?
The only major requirement is that our carer will need to have their own room where they can sleep at night and relax during their breaks.
Is it safe?
Live-in care with Care at Home is safe for many reasons. Firstly, having someone there all the time to assist them will reduce the risk of your loved one suffering an accident or a fall. More than that, their carer will be able to relieve them of the burden of those household tasks they find difficult or tiring. Finally, just knowing there is someone else in the house is likely to make your family member feel safer.
What are your carers like?
Our carers are directly employed, honest, reliable and extensively trained and monitored. Click here for more information about our carers.
Will my mother/father take to Care at Home?
Experience suggests that the more independent the person, the more determined they will be to continue living in their own home. They will probably view the prospect of moving into residential care with a certain amount of apprehension. If this is how your loved one feels, then they will be open to giving live-in care a try. Care at Home offer a one week trial with no strings attached for those unwilling to sign long care contracts. Within a few days of booking a meeting with one of our experienced care managers, your loved one too can be enjoying the warmth and companionship of their own hand-picked carer.