1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) in the UK are carers. Caregivers play a crucial role in tending to the needs or concerns of a person with short or long-term limitations due to illness, injury or disability. Caring for an elderly person can be physically demanding and it is important to maintain your own health and well-being. If you are experiencing stress or burnout, it is worth turning to other resources for help with your caregiving such as home care. In this guide, we have shared information about homecare for the elderly, with some top tips for caregivers.
Being a carer for an elderly loved one can be hugely rewarding, but challenging too. Hiring in-home help may be necessary at some point to address an elder’s increasing care needs. Knowing when to take this step can be difficult.
A factor to consider is if your work hours leave you with enough time to look after an elderly relative. 5 million people in the UK are juggling caring responsibilities with work. It is important to make sure that your career isn’t unduly affected by caring for an elderly relative, especially if other people rely on your income. The added responsibility of helping your loved one with food shopping, housekeeping, transportation to appointments or managing medications can significantly affect you, your family and your schedule.
The demands of caregiving can be physically exhausting and overwhelming. You may have difficulties sleeping, resting or taking regular breaks. This could then lead to a decline in mental health, which may be unintentionally further strained by the patient.
If you are experiencing caregiver stress or burnout, it is probably time to instigate a discussion about home care options.
Care coordination involves organising patient care activities and sharing information among all the participants concerned with a patient’s care to achieve safer and more effective care. This means that your loved ones’ needs and preferences are known ahead of time and communicated at the right people at the right time to the right people.
Caregivers, professional or family, are in the home more frequently than any other member of the health care team. It is important for them to observe and report changes to family members and other medical professionals. This can reduce medication mistakes and hospital readmission. It can also provide peace of mind to family members who are worried about their loved ones.
To promote dignity and improve the quality of life of all individuals receiving care, they should be fully involved in any decision that affects their care. This includes personal decisions such as what to eat, what to wear and what time to go to bed, as well as wider decisions about their care or support.
For loved ones who live alone, spending quality time with an in-home caregiver can help with alleviating feelings of isolation. Social contact with a live-in carer can be protective against feelings of loneliness. It can help your loved one to enjoy life more through encouragement, companionship and support.
Active participation is an approach that empowers individuals in the activities and relationships of everyday life leaving them to live as independently and possible. It opens up more opportunities for activities, social contact and relationship building. People can become more involved in the community which can reduce the risk of social isolation and loneliness.
There is some help and support you can get for free, through the NHS, that is available to everyone. This can include equipment and home adaptations such as handrails for the stairs, ramps for wheelchair access and a walking frame. You can apply online for a home assessment. An occupational therapist will visit you at home to see what you need.
Local councils provide many services for the elderly. This can include care services at home, support for those with disabilities, money advice and priority services for vulnerable people in the event of a power cut. Mobility services can include wheelchair-accessible taxis, disabled parking, free bus pass and discounted rail cards. For more information on the services your local council provides for the elderly, find your local council here.
Private health insurance for the elderly gives you access to private healthcare if you suffer from any of the conditions that are covered by your particular policy. Private healthcare can offer advantages in terms of the timeframe, convenience and the quality of care you receive.
If your loved one requires specialist care, there are lots of private home care services available. Homecare means your loved one is able to stay in the place that is most comfortable and familiar to them.
Arranging homecare starts with getting an assessment of your loved one’s care needs by your local council. This is usually the social services department. An assessment will help you understand and decide what type of care and support you need. After the assessment, your local council will provide a written care plan if you are eligible for support. If your local council agrees to fund some or all your care services, you will be offered the choice of; the council providing the services directly to you, or receiving direct payments from the council and arranging and paying for your care and support services yourself.
Alternatively, you can also get help with home care services through private agencies. These agencies must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. The CQC ensures the quality and safety of care in the care given in people’s own homes. Private home care agencies are dedicated to providing a certain type of care and ensuring care is personalised to your loved one’s needs.
Cavendish Homecare’s bespoke home nursing and care services are created by experts to meet the needs of you and your loved ones. We provide exceptional specialist care for a wide range of circumstances from general personal care to individuals that require more complex nursing. We are renowned for swift same-day intervention, delivering a highly competent giving out clients the attention they deserve. See the range of services we offer, we know that a blended approach might be required. Please do get in touch to discuss your personal requirements.