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Care Options

home / care options
 
See Also: Care Options / Care at Home / Role of the Independent Care Adviser / Assistive Devices / Convalescence, Rehabilitation and Respite Care

Information on Care Options is detailed below. Please note that every individual's situation is unique. For advice tailored to your specific needs it is suggested you speak to an Independent Care Adviser.

Most older people would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. At home they are independent and in familiar surroundings. However, staying at home may not always be appropriate or practical. There are other options available to older people, including Sheltered Housing and Care Homes. The advantages and disadvantages of each are considered below.

Care in Your Own Home

This is usually the preferred option when an older person starts to struggle with the tasks of daily living. Care provided at home can be Domestic, Personal and Social or Nursing and is intended to enable the individual to live in his or her own home for as long as possible.

Advantages

  • Own choice of routine.
  • Familiar surroundings.
  • No need to downsize
  • Own choice of how much help is provided (within financial restraints).
  • The older person can receive domestic assistance and/or help with personal and social care and /or support by the community nursing team.
  • If and when needs increase, so can the level of care.

Disadvantages

  • May not have one regular carer.
  • Timekeeping of visiting carers can be unpredictable
  • Long-term expense.
  • Being at home can sometimes be lonely.
  • The house must be maintained and bills must be paid in addition to care costs.

Sheltered Housing

Sheltered Housing typically comprises self-contained flats or bungalows within a complex. There is a Scheme Manager who will keep in regular contact with the residents and will call for help if needed, but will not offer day to day assistance.
Sheltered Housing is for those who want to remain independent, but like to have the security of someone close at hand.


Advantages

  • Retain independence
  • Gardens and property maintained by someone else
  • Regular contact with scheme manager
  • Emergency alarm call system fitted in each flat or bungalow
  • Communal facilities sometimes available
  • Properties usually available for rent or purchase

Disadvantages

  • No domestic or personal care provided. This would have to be arranged privately or through social services
  • Accommodation can sometimes be small
  • Meals not usually provided
  • May have upheaval of another move if more care is needed in the future
  • Service charge usually applicable
  • Limited social contact with other residents; usually dependent on charisma of scheme manager and motivation of resident to get involved

Extra Care Housing

Extra Care Housing is very sheltered housing with a range of additional facilities and support, i.e. there is 24 hour care to meet the needs identified in individual care plans with the flexibility to respond to fluctuations in care needs. Some meals may also be provided.

Advantages

  • Promotes independence
  • Part of a community
  • Own front door
  • Support/care available at predetermined times, 24 hours per day
  • Meal services
  • Assisted baths
  • Launderette

Disadvantages

  • Likely to have specific admission criteria
  • May not be able to provide a home for life
  • Not widely available
  • Largely rental schemes subject to joint assessment by housing and Social Services
  • Not easily accessed by those with private funds or property to sell

Assisted Living

This is fundamentally the same as Extra Care Housing above. However, while Extra Care Housing is generally only available to rent following a joint assessment by Social Services and Housing, Assisted Living Schemes are generally available for purchase or rent on a private basis.

Close Care

Close Care is similar to sheltered housing in that residents retain their independence. However, close care flats/bungalows are situated within the grounds of a care home so care may be available, if required.

Advantages

  • Retain independence
  • Can usually use the facilities of the main house, e.g. communal areas and join in activities and outings
  • Meals are sometimes provided either as part of a package or at a small extra charge
  • Domestic help and personal care may be available, subject to prior agreement with the Care Home
  • Close Care properties are usually available for rent or purchase
  • Possibility of moving into main house if more care is needed

Disadvantages

  • Properties can sometimes be small
  • Close Care is not widely available
  • Value of the property can be affected by the success of the whole complex
  • The category of care provided in the home may differ from that required
  • A room may not be available at the home when required
  • Domestic help and personal care not always available via the care home

Care Homes (otherwise known as Residential Homes)

Good Care Homes should provide care and security within a comfortable setting. Assistance with personal care is generally provided by experienced and trained carers. Limited nursing care, if needed, is provided by the community nursing services. Care and community spirit within a Care Home may vary. In some homes, residents are encouraged to have an active role within the home. To some extent this depends on the type of residents at the home and the attitude of the Manager and his/her staff.

Most residents have their own room, furnished as they wish, often with their own toilet and sink. There may be a choice of communal areas and a garden for residents to enjoy.

Advantages

  • 24 hour assistance available
  • Help with personal care if needed
  • Activities/outings organized
  • Company and companionship
  • Safe environment
  • Meals provided
  • No worries about maintaining house/garden and paying household bills

Disadvantages

  • Some loss of independence
  • Rooms sometimes small, therefore, not able to take many personal belongings/items of furniture
  • The home ownership may change or the home may close
  • Other residents may not have similar abilities or interests
  • Would have to move to a Care Home with Nursing if care needs increase.

Care Homes with Nursing (otherwise known as Nursing Homes)

Care Homes with Nursing provide care for the more frail elderly who are experiencing poor health. Residents usually require a high level of care and medical attention. The homes are usually bigger than care homes and are often purpose built.

Advantages

  • 24 hour assistance available
  • Qualified nurses on duty at all times
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Safe/comfortable environment
  • Stimulating activities organised
  • Meals provided
  • No worries about maintaining house/garden and paying household bills
  • Can provide a home for life

Disadvantages

  • Loss of independence
  • Rooms can sometimes be small
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for active alert older people who need very little assistance
  • May be in company of those significantly more mentally or physically frail.

Dual Registered Homes

Some homes have dual registration, which means that they are able to provide both Residential and Nursing Care. The main advantage to this is that if an older person does not need nursing care now but may in the future, there will be no need to face the upheaval of a further move.

Viewing Care Homes

Whichever setting is most appropriate to the older person, they are advised to view a number of homes and to discuss their requirements with the Manager.

Whilst the majority of homes provide general residential or general nursing care, many also specialise in a particular category of care e.g. dementia or other type of mental disorder. The skills and experience which come with such a specialism can make a significant difference to the older person's experience of the care provided.

An assessment by a member of staff at the care home will be required to ensure that care needs can be met, prior to acceptance into their home. The older person or their representative should consider any personal criteria, such as location, accommodation, facilities offered, and of course any budgetary constraints, before entering into an agreement either directly with the home or via Social Services or the NHS.

Call Grace Consulting on 01483 203066 for further information or complete the e-mail enquiry form.

 

If you require further assistance or would like to speak to the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call 0800 137 669

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