If the time comes when you or a loved one needs some extra help, deciding what to do can be fairly daunting. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to care. Everyone has different requirements and preferences. The most important thing when deciding your next steps is ensuring that you’ve considered and researched all the options thoroughly. Below, we’ve outlined some key points about care at home and care in a residential home to help you make a decision.
Carers will feature heavily in your day to day life whether you choose live-in care at home or a residential care home. Both options mean you’ll have 24 hour access to a qualified carer. If you choose care at home, your care agency will be sure to pair you with a carer who they know you’ll get on with. It’s a carefully considered decision taking all aspects into account, including personalities and interests as well as practical and medical needs. You’ll also be guaranteed one-to-one care at all times. Residential homes hire several employees meaning you’ll be cared for by multiple individuals who haven’t been hand picked for you and, with other residents to consider, it’s likely that you’ll receive less one-to-one care. If you choose to have a live-in carer, you’ll have your own individual carer and so your care can be completely tailored, whereas residential care establishments might take a more blanket approach.
It’s also worth considering that at home you will be able to set up any medical equipment you might need as it suits you which might not be possible in the rooms in a residential set up.
Moving into a care home is a complete life overhaul which can be seen as a positive challenge by some elderly people, but can also be hugely overwhelming and unsettling for others. Getting a live-in carer will require some adjustment as you’ll constantly have someone new in your home and you’ll also have to arrange for a spare room to become theirs, though this adjustment is minor in comparison. It’s also important to remember that moving into residential care can be tricky to reverse if your well-being or health improves.
Other major life changes include whether or not you’re able to stay with your spouse. Having a live-in carer means you can continue living with your husband, wife or partner, which for many elderly people is a huge factor in their decision. Some residential care homes can offer rooms for couples but you might also have to live separately in others.
Daily life in residential care will vary greatly to life at home. A care home means new surroundings, whereas a live-in carer allows you stay in your own home, with your own, familiar belongings. You’ll also be able to keep hold of any pets you might have. Live-in care means that your friends and family can visit as you please, however, care homes can have visiting rules in place. Generally speaking, live-in care will offer you a great degree of flexibility in terms of how you go about your day. If you want to stick to your familiar routine then you can, however, you can also make short notice changes as you wish. Care homes tend to have a more rigid schedule or timetable to follow.
Living in a residential care home means sharing all your communal areas with other people and so you’ll have a little less privacy than at home. Being surrounded by so many other people of a similar age also gives you lots of opportunity to make new friends and be sociable. Care homes also tend to put on lots of activities for their residents, which can be another opportunity to bond with others. For some people, this can really boost morale and mood. Whether or not you’d prefer such a sociable approach to life is entirely dependent on your personality and preferences. Many live-in carers will have knowledge of local groups and events for other elderly people and will be able to help you get out of the house to join in.
If you’re looking into care for yourself or someone close to you, remember to carefully research all your options.