The diagnosis of any illness can be a frightening time for both the individual and the family involved. However, it is important to carefully assess the type of care that is best suited to your loved one during this difficult period. Although care from a relative is possible in some situations, more often than not, professional care will be required at some point. Providing personal care to your family can be challenging as many people are not comfortable with someone they love assisting them with sensitive tasks such as washing themselves or using the toilet; this results in considering the options of hiring professional care at home or seeking it in a care home. Below are just a few reasons why at-home care can be advantageous for those suffering or recovering from ill health.
Home care provides the perfect environment to aid speedy recovery as hospitals can be a traumatising and unfamiliar environment. Research has proven that being in a familiar environment can help older patients to heal both body and mind faster. Tailored care can be provided by a live-in carer who is able to tend to their needs 24-hours a day; this provides the optimal conditions and resources needed to accelerate the healing process.
Secondly, at-home care saves money; care homes can be very expensive and if constant monitoring isn’t required, your relative is probably better off with live-in care. Live-in carers also provide one-on-one companionship and attention that isn’t available in a care home; this is very important for mental health as many elderly people often feel isolated and alone in their later years.
Care in one’s own home can provide greater dignity and independence—according to a study done by Forbes, almost 90% of seniors want to age at home. Being at home is less restrictive and provides many people with the independence that they crave. Being at home can allow your loved one to remain engaged with their typical daily routine whilst staying amongst their community, with family and friends. Participating in community activities regularly can really reduce feelings of isolation. Living in a care home facility on the other hand, means one is contained by the rules and regulations of the facility. Living at home enables your loved one to have control over choosing their own doctor, nurse, and carer to fit their needs. Furthermore, these doctors, nurses, and carers can provide service that is personalised to the individual. Unlike in a care home, where carers rush between multiple patients, at-home care services are optimised to maximise health and quality of life. At-home care is more efficient due to its one-on-one nature, all of the carers’ time can be focused on your loved one, rather than taking care of a collective.
The fourth reason may seem obvious, but in-home care helps to keep families close-knit. Families provide a wealth of mental and emotional support for the elderly and having them close at hand can have a positive effect on their mental health. Another point that may seem obvious, but with in-home care you are able to visit your relative at any time that suits you, which can lead to you maximising your quality time with each other in this challenging period.
Moreover, a study published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal found that nursing home residents are particularly susceptible to catching infectious diseases. Therefore, being cared for at home can vastly reduce the risk of infection and the likelihood of your loved one having to go to hospital due to disease. An in-home carer can also make the house safer by helping to adapt household items and systems to make them more user-friendly. Specifically, those suffering with dementia can benefit from their homes being physically adapted as this will increase their independence for longer, for example: coloured grab rails; contrasting light stickers and bright toilet seats can all be installed to reduce confusion and increase the ease of everyday activities. Slight changes like the aforementioned are unlikely to be installed in a care home, meaning those suffering with dementia will find it more difficult to focus and rest.
Independence is something we crave strongly from adolescence onwards. However, when it is suddenly taken away from the elderly due to age or poor health, it can cause upset and resentment. Live-in care encourages independence and therefore supports a higher quality of life whilst avoiding conflict that can arise from a lack of independence.
In the twenty-first century, families are rarely concentrated in the same area and advances in technology make remote caregiving possible. Now, just because you don’t live in the immediate vicinity of your elderly relative doesn’t mean that they have to go into a care home for you to ensure they’re taken care of. Technology can be used to diagnose and record results of your loved one’s health tests, conducted by professionals in their own home. With Cera’s online platform, designated relatives can access these records 24/7 with ease. Digital methods are revolutionising care giving and making live-in care a realistic solution for more elderly people and their families.
So, if you’re facing a tough decision about what care is best for your loved one, make sure to assess their needs properly and objectively. Many elderly people are reluctant to give up their independence and live-in care can allow them their freedom without compromising on care. Furthermore, familiar environments can vastly improve healing times and maintain positive mental health. Ultimately, you want your relative to feel loved, safe and happy, and living at home can provide all of these things with ease.