The number of people living in senior homes and specialist retirement housing is relatively low. For instance, only 410,000 people in the UK live in senior homes, according to data from 2016. This is 4% of the population aged 65 and over and 15% of those aged 85 or more. Most of us would certainly want to remain in our own home as we age.
So, what is the difference between senior homes and home care? There are big distinctions between the two. While they may sound similar, they are not the same. Home care means receiving professional support from carers in one’s home, while senior homes or care homes means moving to a facility which specialises in providing care for elderly people.
Senior homes are not particularly popular. One of the main differences between senior homes and home care is that moving into a senior home is oftentimes more costly than having a carer come into your elderly family member’s home.
Besides the financial factor, moving to a senior home is often a difficult and distressing time for elderly people, particularly if they suffer from any cognitive illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Moving from one’s family home is challenging and getting accustomed to a new and unfamiliar environment in old age is not easy.
Studies have also shown that moving from one’s familiar surroundings can even cause distress and decline in health. Residents in senior homes have an average life expectancy of 12-30 months and mortality rates are also higher. It has been suggested that leaving one’s home can lead to ‘move trauma’ which can aggravate decline.
Furthermore, one of the main drawbacks of senior homes is not receiving one on one care. In a senior home, one care assistant has to look after a certain number of residents each day and cannot devote a reasonable amount of time and attention to one’s needs. However, at home, your elderly family member will receive all the care and attention of their professional home carer.
There are numerous benefits that your elderly family member can get from receiving home care. Firstly, you can personalise their care based on their unique needs and requirements. When you speak to a care agency, they will make sure to choose candidates who can fulfil all the required specifications.
More than this, each candidate is hand-picked based on your requirements. Besides needs and requirements, you can specify how many years of care experience you want them to have, if you require them to hold any certifications and whether you want them to have experience in a particular field, for example, experience working with people with dementia.
Secondly, enlisting home care for your elderly family members also means they will have someone to look after their home. Home carers nowadays can also support housekeeping around the house. Some of the tasks they can do are preparing meals, doing the hoovering, mopping and dusting, changing the bed linen, doing the laundry and anything else that your elderly family member may need help with.
Thirdly, another one of the main benefits of home care and probably the most important is the fact that it allows the care receiver to maintain their independence for as long as possible by remaining in the home they know and love, close to friends and family.
Lastly, your elderly family member will be safe and secure by remaining at home in the company of a carer. They will ensure that your family member is supervised at all times and thus can prevent unwanted accidents. The home carer will also be the first one to call the ambulance in case of emergency and will update you regularly regarding their overall health and wellbeing.
Here at Guardian Carers, we offer many types of home care for your elderly family member. You simply have to tell us what you are looking for and what are the needs of your family member and we will ensure that they receive the best home care, personalised for their needs.
We specialise in live-in home care, but can also offer live-out care, part-time care and full-time care. Either of these options can be provided on a temporary basis or a permanent basis. So, if your elderly family member only needs someone to help them recover from a surgery, for instance, this can be covered. More than this, if they need long-term dementia care, this can also be arranged.
Dementia home care accounts for around 50% of the services we offer. We do, of course, offer other types of specialist care such as Alzheimer’s care, Parkinson’s care, Spinal Injury care and disability care. We also provide bilingual care services. In case your elderly family member can only communicate in their mother tongue, we can find them a home carer who can speak the same language.
Our home carers are the best at what they do. They are friendly, enthusiastic and highly trained to help your elderly loved one continue to live their life independently in the comfort and security of their home for as long as possible.
Dealing with an illness or change in lifestyle can be very challenging and we truly believe that there is no place like home when recovering or going through changes that come as a result of ageing. If you would like to know more about how home care can enable your elderly loved one to keep enjoying their independence at home, you can contact our specialists on 0207 183 1395.