Selecting the right type of care for a loved one is a very important decision that requires research and time to consider all the choices. There are many types of care options available, but home care vs moving into a care home is the choice people often must choose between. To help you make a well-informed decision, we outline both types of care and provide some pros and cons associated with each.
What is a care home?
A care home is an umbrella term for lots of different types of elderly care establishments. Residential care homes provide a safe, supportive, and social environment for residents who simply need a little support with personal care tasks, but otherwise want to enjoy an active social life. Nursing homes, however, boast a similar offering to a residential home, but with the additional benefit of registered nursing care provision for residents who need higher levels of care. Some care homes offer specialist dementia care and some care homes, like ours, offer a full spectrum of care to ensure a resident does not need to change home if/when their care needs change. A care home is an establishment you move into for the provision of care, which can be on either a short or long-term basis.
What is home care?
Home care (sometimes called in-home care) is the term used to describe care that is provided to you in your own home. Sometimes this means a carer lives with you in your house (live-in care), visits you regularly (visiting care), or provides specialist nursing care. Home care services are tailored to your needs, whether you need 24/7 help or just some assistance getting washed and dressed in the mornings.
The benefits of home care
If your loved one enjoys the comfort of their own home and surroundings, and are content with their own company, then home care may be the preferred option for them. Undivided attention will be provided by a carer throughout the duration of the visit, and carers will provide regular feedback to family members on how their customer is getting on. Live-in care is a great option for anyone who wants to stay at home whilst receiving continuous care and support. Live-in carers will help around the house to ensure a clean and safe living environment and will also cook food for your loved one and arrange and attend medical appointments and social activities with them. Live-in or visiting carers also have the freedom to arrange activities and outings at a time and place that is preferable to their customer, they are not bound by mealtimes, menu choices, or the needs and requirements of other customers.
When it comes to cost, if you are unable to self-fund home care, there are a few different options available to you – you may qualify for assistance from your local council for example. The local authority will identify the extent of the care required via a ‘needs assessment’ and is free to anyone who requests one. If the council finds that you require care, they will then carry out a ‘means test’ which is a financial assessment of your ability to fund the care. The assessment will help the council decide what proportion of the care (if any) they will fund. The means test is also free, so there is no harm in finding out whether you are eligible for funding or not.
The cost of home care will also depend on the level and frequency of care required. Live-in care will obviously come at a much higher price than one carer popping in for an hour twice a week. Visiting your loved one when they are cared for in their own home will mean that when you go to visit, you are among familiar surroundings too. This can be a comfort to family and friends who may be more comfortable ‘making themselves at home’ when visiting and, therefore, may decide to stay for longer and visit more frequently.
The benefits of a care home
While for some, living in their own home for as long as possible will always be the preferred option, our experience in the care industry has highlighted that for the majority, the opposite is true. Many care home residents thrive on having the company of others in their elder years and, for the majority, the isolation and loneliness of being home alone is the initial driving force behind seeking residential care within a care home.
Not having to deal with the stress that comes with simple daily tasks like washing and dressing is a relief to many of our residents. Having support with these tasks means their time is freed up to enjoy some of the activities and outings without the hassle of organising or travelling to them.
As meals are all prepared and served for residents within a care home, they are free to enjoy delicious, nutritious meals without the worry of getting to the shops and cooking food for themselves.
Care homes strive to tailor their care to each resident, so each experience is unique. As carers get to know the residents and understand their personality, their likes and dislikes, and their idiosyncrasies, each resident will feel like they are home from home.
For those that live a long way from their loved ones, there is the option of choosing a local care home to enjoy more frequent visits. Visiting is a great experience for both resident and visitor alike as there is always something to talk about. Plus, there are other residents and staff around to chat with too, and there are lots of opportunities to join in with activities while visiting an elderly family member or friend.
Living in a care home not only provides our residents with the care, comfort, reassurance, and stimulation they seek during their elder years, but it also provides peace of mind for their family and friends that they are still enjoying the activities they love with likeminded people, under the care of professional and caring individuals that are committed to enriching their lives. Paying for a place in a residential/nursing care home, works in the same way as home care. If you are not self-funding, you can ask the council for a needs assessment or apply for one online.
Why choose a care home from the Future Care Group consortium?
Across our 18 care homes we offer a full spectrum of care for all residents, from residential care, nursing care, dementia care, respite care, through to caring for residents during the final stages of their lives. This means that when a resident joins us, we can adapt and evolve with their needs. Because we commit to getting to know each resident like family, we are able to offer bespoke care, something that a big corporate does not have the flexibility to do.
Most of our staff have achieved long service awards with us, with many enjoying over 25 years on our team. This reflects the high quality and genuine offering we boast at the Future Care Group. Whilst we have embraced and developed some of the most advanced technology to complement our care offering, a personalised, tailored approach to each resident will always take precedence.
When it comes to finding the right care for your loved one, the benefits of both care options will lie in the eye of the beholder. For example, a lonely person that hates living alone at home will view socialising with others in a communal setting as a positive addition to enriching their everyday life. However, someone that enjoys their own company with no desire to move out of their home may view a communal living approach very differently. Costs and care needs will also need to be considered, as well as the needs and practicalities for you, as their loved one. If you would like to book a visit to one of our care homes, we would love to meet you and your loved one for a chat and show you around the home.