If your loved one can no longer look after themselves then you may be considering some sort of homecare services to help them remain independent for as long as possible. Most people have heard of daily care services, or “meals on wheels” but are surprised to learn that in-home care is an affordable alternative to a care home, rather than the preserve of the extremely well-off.
A study by the Live-in Care Hub, found that while 97% of people wouldn’t want to go into a care home, many people aren’t sure exactly what a live-in carer does, and how they differ from a companion. Yet this type of care at home is a better alternative to a care home and here are the reasons why.
The most obvious area that a live-in carer assists with is personal care. This is tailored to the client and may include help with washing, dressing and personal grooming. A live-in carer will adjust the amount of care provided to the abilities of their client, even on a day-to-day basis, allowing your loved one to retain as much independence as possible.
Even with pre-filled pill boxes that beep when medication is due it can be easy for an older person to become erratic in their habits and forget to take medication. A live-in carer will ensure that medicines have been taken, and keep records in a care diary if requested. Many live-in carers have nursing backgrounds and may be able to provide further medical support such as changing dressings or giving injections.
In most situations a live-in carer expects to provide some degree of housekeeper services. This could include light housework such as dusting and hoovering, fetching shopping, and preparing and cooking meals. Some carers are happy to include gardening in their duties, or caring for pets too. They can also include their client in some duties to preserve their independence.
Getting out and about can be difficult. Once your loved one can no longer drive or walk to the bus stop they may become a lot less mobile. Often live-in carers take over transport, chaperoning their clients on visits to the hospital, doctor, dentist – even the hairdressers or library. They can take their client to social events and on days out. They can also answer the door and telephone, acting as a “bouncer” against scams and unwanted visitors.
It’s not just companionship and social interaction that a live-in carer can provide. They support you emotionally by giving you the the security of knowing someone is always there. By allowing your loved one to stay in their own home environment, and by supporting their independence wherever possible a live-in carer can bolster and improve the mental health of the entire family. Family and friends are free to visit when they want, meaning they are more likely to do so. A live-in carer can ensure your loved one has access to favourite foods and chances to pursue their hobbies helping them to make good lifestyle choices.