Independence is precious. Staying in the home which has been the centre of family life and holds so many memories is vital to emotional well-being. People hang on to their independence often long after they actually lost it in every true sense of the word. It can come as a shock to families to discover that their elderly person has not been coping. The heart sink moment of realisation that something must be done.
One does not have to look very far to find horrific headlines in the media concerning care for the elderly and the vulnerable. There always was stigma associated with putting ones oldies away. Now there is outright fear. That fear and the stigma comes before families even consider the financial implications. Most families go along the home care route first in preference to a care home. It is usually what the elderly person themselves also prefers, although they may not themselves be the best judge of the situation. What they want, not being what they actually need.
The plus points of a care home versus home care are as follows; There is always a care worker there, even if they take an age to answer the call bell. Someone is there, in the same building. Not stuck in traffic, or still at their earlier scheduled call, or unaware that the call is required in the first place. Care homes are staffed by teams of people as opposed to a single care worker making visits. This automatically enables more choice and transparency of care. Someone with poor professional standards is better able to conceal bad practice in the closed environment of some ones own home. All meals, cleaning and laundry is done. Upkeep, maintenance, repairs and gardening are done. There is always company.
Care at home works best when the person requiring care has full or near full mental capacity. Unless there is a live in carer, care is usually delivered by visits that follow standard daily routines. In other words, getting up out of bed in the morning; breakfast, lunch and tea, then going back to bed at night. Standard daily routines that are fitted in around the care workers other calls, traffic and travel issues, not to mention the meagre time allocated for set tasks. For the elderly person to receive value for money. To actually be fully assisted with personal hygiene and meals, they need to be able and willing to co-operate and compromise. If they do not or can not, then the care worker simply will not have time to deliver the care. Care workers are often caught in a no win situation. Not giving some one a bath and change of clothing is neglect, yet coercion is abuse.
Care at home also requires the back up of a relative or friend who is able to monitor and check up on the delivery of care. Someone who is able to step into the breach when needed. Someone who makes sure that everything else to do with running and maintaining a home safely and well is being done. In other words, someone needs to take on the management and support role. If there is no one able to take on this role, it means that the home care set up is vulnerable to failure.
If a person has dementia or any sort of confusion and short term memory loss, a care home is the better option. Few of us are saints, let alone have the time and resources to cope with difficult, demented relatives. Let the professionals and the professional environment take the strain. When considering the scary cost of a care home, do add up the cost of running and maintaining the old family home and add it into the comparison of costs. If someone has to keep taking time off work to manage crisis after crisis, this too should be factored in as cost. Above all, if it becomes inevitable that the elderly relative does need to go into a care home, do not feel guilt ridden. Go look for one where it is easy for you to visit as frequently as you would wish. Judge the place by the smell and the way the staff interact with the residents already there. If it is clean and if the staff show empathy and respect for their patients, then you can feel confident that your relative will be looked after properly.
Visit www.business-directory-uk.co.uk/nursing-homes.htm for more information.